Steerpike

David Lammy gets it wrong (again)

David Lammy gets it wrong (again)
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Oh, those rotten Tories. You've got a PM being fined for parties, a Home Secretary making a mess of our borders and a Culture Secretary who can't even spell the name of the Channel 4 star she's berating. Sleaze is rife, inflation is back: it's like the nineties without the hope. What could be worse? Well, there's always the Labour party. 

Jeremy Corbyn may be gone but Sir Keir Starmer's barmy army is still stuffed with socialists of the hard-of-thinking variety. Richard Burgon is banished to the backbenches but there's always good old David Lammy, the ardent Europhile handpicked by Starmer to shadow Her Majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs. Lammy generously took time out of his busy LBC broadcasting schedule yesterday to appear on a rival competitor, appearing on behalf of Labour to lambast Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak on the BBC.

Unfortunately Lammy, when presented with an open goal, decided to instead do his best impression of Ronny Rosenthal at Villa Park. The Harvard graduate tried to dismiss claims that Johnson's departure could imperil Britain's efforts in Ukraine. He told the BBC that 'there are always others', claiming:

Churchill replaced Chamberlain just days before the Second World War, Lloyd George replaced Asquith weeks into [the] Somme, Eden lost his job during the Suez crisis.

Yet as others were quick to point out to the Shadow Foreign Secretary, he managed to get all three of these historical facts, er, wrong. Churchill actually replaced Chamberlain in May 1940 – nine months after the Second World War began. Lloyd George succeeded Asquith weeks after the Some offensive had ended, in December 1916. And Eden actually quit No. 10 in January 1957, two months after the ceasefire led to a cessation of hostilities between Britain and Egypt.

Better luck next time maybe David. Perhaps history isn't his subject: after all this was the MP who came bottom on Mastermind after claiming that Henry VII succeeded Henry VIII as king, that Marie Antoinette won the Nobel Physics prize in 1903 and that the big prison in the middle of Paris was called ‘Versailles’.

Maybe Lammy should just stick to the second job on LBC where he gets to ask the questions, rather than answer them.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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