Video: Barclays trader hurls abuse at construction workers

Olivier Desbarres fired after a video of him yelling abuse at construction workers in Singapore was posted online.

A Singapore-based Barclays trader has been fired after a video showing him hurling abuse at construction workers was posted online.

The clip shows Olivier Desbarres, who was formerly head of foreign exchange strategy for Asia Pacific at Barclays, shouting at men working on a building site next to his home in Singapore. He refers to them as “animals, Chinese fucking animals" and says "I’m going to burn your fucking house down with your fucking people in it." Watch it here (warning: very strong language):

According to the Wall Street Journal, the workers' firm has filed a police complaint, and the incident is being investigated. The WSJ report also confirms that Barclays executives did see the footage before deciding to fire Desbarres.

Caroline Crampton is assistant 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.