City A.M. editorial sparks France debate

City A.M. editor Allister Heath's article 'France’s failed socialist experiment is turning into a tragedy', published last week, has received a lot of attention - and prompted a deluge of responses.

First, the French Embassy wrote a reply, in which the NHS was branded 'ailing' and French infrastrucutre was deemed superior to the UK's.

Blogger Guido Fawkes picked up on the indignant riposte:

The French Embassy has taken French-born Allister Heath’s column on their government’s "failed socialist experiment" personally. Since there is definitely nothing else interesting going on in France at the moment, they took the time to condemn the piece as an "ideological mix of prejudice and error" with a contender for the worst ‘listicle’ ever made.

But things didn't end there. A raft of Tory MPs then sought to defend the array of besmirched institutions, with The Telegraph and Huffington Post UK collecting up their reactions.

Then, CNBC and The Times reported the story, followed by France 24 and news and culture magazine Descrier.

Here are a selection of MP retorts:

We may face stiff competition from the French on cheese & wine, but there's a reason the NHS makes us more proud to be British than any other institution.

Jeremy Hunt, health secretary

There's a reason London is now the sixth largest French city, and that's because an increasing number of French workers recognise their socialist experiment has failed.

Dominic Raab MP

And in the wake of rumours that French President Francois Hollande may have had an affair with actress Julie Gayet:

Francois Hollande seems to manage his financial affairs as well as his personal affairs.

Brooks Newmark, Tory member of the Commons Treasury Committee

Then, returning the debate to more sensible ground, David Rutley MP commented:

The focus must be on free enterprise and EU reform. It’s something that businesses across the EU, including those in France, need and deserve.