French presidential candidate Francois Fillon says he will continue his campaign, despite criticism amid media reports he paid his wife an unjustified salary for 15 years while he was a member of parliament.
Claiming his wife was paid fairly for work she did, Fillon only apologized for the "error" of judgement in employing his family, but said his wife's salary was "perfectly justified" for a woman with training in law.
"No one has the right to judge what a parliamentary assistant's job consists of, except the MP himself," Fillon told a news conference Monday, responding to allegations his wife performed no job duties, despite receiving a monthly government salary of $4,000.
Fillon's popularity has declined significantly during the past two weeks since the Canard Enchaine newspaper published a report including Mrs. Fillon's salary.
The first round of presidential elections in France is scheduled for April.