French PM Manuel Valls laughs off Andy Street's faux pas and promises cheap Aspirin for Denis MacShane

Gabriella Griffith
French PM Manuel Valls was in Guildhall
Sacre Bleu, a few short days after John Lewis chief Andy Street’s “France is over,” faux pas and the French PM Manuel Valls was in town, speaking at the Guildhall to a packed-out City audience yesterday.

Orating in his mother-tongue (let’s hope everyone remembered their GCSE French), Valls said he thought Street had “drunk too much beer” while thanking a certain businessman for his apology. To laughter, he promised to sort out Paris’ Gare du Nord, or “the squalor pit of Eur­ope,” to borrow Street’s phrase.

The Pru’s Tidjane Thiam was there, along with StanChart’s Thomas Har­ris, Lord Mandelson and former minister for Europe and one-time resident of HM Brixton Prison, Denis Mac­Shane.

“Prime minister, if you have a headache in France, it costs a lot of money to buy Aspirin,” complained MacShane during the Q&A, in perfect French.

“Dennis, I do apologise,” res­ponded Valls. “Let me recommend somewhere you can buy some cheap Aspirin for your next holiday.” How helpful.

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