Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, on Michael Ashcroft, ethnic-minority MPs and the political Osca

1. Hague kept non-dom status from Cameron

While William Hague has known about Lord Ashcroft's non-dom status "for a few months", David Cameron found out only "within the last month". "What does this mean for relations between the pair?" asks Political Scrapbook.

2. MacShane goes for Lord A -- but what about Total Politics?

Meanwhile, Paul Waugh reports that Denis MacShane has used parliamentary privilege to attack Lord Ashcroft as "Lord Sleaze of Belize". But what does this mean for MacShane's place on the board of the Ashcroft-owned Total Politics?

3. Why the Lib Dems struggle with diversity in parliament -- and what to do about it

The reason the Liberal Democrats have few black and ethnic-minority MPs is that they rarely select non-white candidates for winnable seats, says Sunder Katwala.

4. Britain needs a 21-hour working week

Anna Coote of the New Economics Foundation writes a guest blog for Left Foot Forward in which she makes the case for a shorter working week.

5. Political Oscars 2010: the envelopes, please . . .

The Huffington Post gives out awards for both politics and entertainment in categories such as "Rewriting of History" and "Best Fantasy".

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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.