George Osborne booed at the Paralympic Games

Chancellor greeted with boos as he awards medals for the men's 400m.

He commented at the weekend that it was "not surprising" that he was unpopular, but George Osborne still probably wasn't expecting to be greeted by a chorus of boos when he presented the medals for the men's 400m at the Paralympic Games. His initial laughter soon gave way to a grimace as his hopes of ever leading the Conservatives disappeared (parties don't elect people who are booed in public).

By contrast, Gordon Brown was greeted with cheers when he arrived at the Aquatic Centre earlier today, while Osborne's future rival for the Conservative leadership, Boris Johnson, received the warmest welcome of all at the Olympic closing ceremony.

I suspect some Tories will try to make a virtue of Osborne's reception, arguing that it demonstrates his ability to take "tough decisions". But they'd be wrong to. There's a difference between decisions that are seen as "tough" but fair ("it's hurting but it's working"), and those that, in addition to being seen as tough, are also seen as wrong.


Chancellor George Osborne. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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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.