There is a deepening row in France over the alleged lengths gone to by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s aides in order to conceal his short stature. In a Belgian TV report, the employee of a French factory visited by Mr Sarkozy admitted being chosen to stand behind him because she was no taller than him. The report became an internet hit over the weekend and other workers have since backed the allegation. But the charge has been robustly denied by the president’s office. A spokesman for the Elysee Palace called it “completely absurd and grotesque”.