Historical knowledge of government ministers

I’m not sure how many of you witnessed the excrutiating performance of the HE minister David Lammy on Celebrity Mastermind recently. I tend not to watch, but guests staying over couldn’t wait to see my reaction when we looked at the episode on IPlayer later in the evening. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he thought that the surname of the Marie who pioneered the use of radium at the start of the 20th century was Antoinette (rather than Curie), and could not name the award known as the Purple Heart, he even thought that the 14th century Parisian prison we know as the Bastille was in fact Versailles! The best he left ’til last. You will be astonished to learn that, according to Lammy the man who succeeded Henry VIII was not the boy king Edward VI but none other than Henry VII!! Yes, he really did say that. This may not represent the best case for strengthening the study of history in schools, but it certainly got viewers agitated. No doubt someone will blame his teachers!!

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