Brown and Murdoch: the quotes

Proving the point of my column

Anyone interested in the subject of my column and blog yesterday on the relationship between New Labour and Rupert Murdoch, and the reasons for the latter's mythical "influence", should look at these quotations from Gordon Brown and the media mogul.

Here is my (least) favourite, from Murdoch:

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, whenever I'm in town, they say, 'Can't you come over for a cup of tea?' When you're invited by the prime minister to have a cup of tea, you have a cup of tea. It's sometimes very inconvenient, if you're only there for two days and you have a month's work to do. And you have to be careful to have a cup of tea with them both or they're very suspicious that you are lining up with the other one.

And from Brown, after the Sun turned against him:

I have a lot of admiration for Rupert Murdoch personally. His family come from not far from mine in Scotland, and his attitudes to hard work and getting on with things you can only admire. But the Sun has tried to become a political party. It's not personal about Rupert, he's always been very friendly to me. I think the Sun's made a mistake, but that's up to them.


James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
Show Hide image

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.