A French MP has shot a woman dead and then killed himself, apparently because he lost his mayoralty eight months ago, according to BBC.

Jean-Marie Demange, 65, a member of the UMP party, had been mayor of Thionville for 13 years. Friends told AFP news agency he became distraught at losing.

Prosecutor Jean-Francois Mailhes said the relationship with the 43-year-old woman was uncertain, but AFP reported that they were lovers.

The speaker said he was saddened by the "gesture of despair."

Bernard Accoyer expressed his "profound sadness" at the killings.

AFP reported that Mr Demange, who was a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy`s centre-right UMP party, was in the middle of a divorce.

He had also taken his loss of the mayoralty in Thionville, a town of 43,000 in eastern France, as a personal failure, AFP said.

Mr Demange was a member of the parliament`s foreign affairs commission.