The Returning Officer: Derbyshire NE II

In 1916, having decided to retire from politics, Colonel George Harland Bowden MP changed his mind at the adoption meeting of his agreed successor, Edward Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington, alleging that the chair of the committee, Dr Josiah Court, had made remarks about his command of the Royal Fusiliers. Court had been the losing Conservative candidate in the five previous general elections, the earliest of which was in 1895.

In 1918, Harland Bowden stood as an Independent Unionist, splitting the vote, allowing the Liberal Joseph Stanley Holmes to win, with Hartington at the bottom
of the poll.

This article first appeared in the 22 October 2014 issue of the New Statesman, Why Britain and Germany aren't natural enemies

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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.