Ray Lewis' resignation

The extraordinary resignation of Boris Johnson's deputy mayor Ray Lewis saw me called in to BBC London on Friday night to take part in a discussion on the Tessa Dunlop show that involved London Assembly members and callers from around the capital.

It was two hours of lively debate as we all tried to take stock of the fact that Johnson, elected just two months ago on 1 May, has already lost two key players in his set up - the other being adviser James McGrath.

There was genuine sorrow on the part of some callers who pondered just who could take on the job of tackling youth knife crime. Some blamed the media for asking questions - which is a tack that always astonishes me.

Strangely no-one from a Tory perspective wanted to come on the show. Must have been licking their wounds. You can listen to the debate by going to the BBC's listen again service

Ben Davies trained as a journalist after taking most of the 1990s off. Prior to joining the New Statesman he spent five years working as a politics reporter for the BBC News website. He lives in North London.
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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.