Conservative MPs have slammed a controversial historian for sharing a “racist opinion” about the Prime Minister on GB News.
David Starkey claimed Rishi Sunak has not engaged with King Charles’s Coronation because he is “not fully grounded in our culture’. The historian and television presenter told GB News that Parliament was not being properly represented at the Coronation because “the government isn’t interested in the constitution”.
Starkey has caused controversy in the past with his outspoken views – and was once branded “the rudest man in Britain”.
During an appearance on GB News, he was asked by Andrew Pierce whether he felt the Prime Minister had been “detached, or at least semi-detached, from this Coronation”.
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David Starkey has claimed.
Starkey, sitting outside Buckingham Palace, answered: “Invisible. I think one of the reasons that a lot has gone wrong, for example, why parliament has not been properly represented at the coronation of a parliamentary monarchy, is because the government isn’t interested in the constitution.
“The prime minister, the man of immense talent, of extraordinary skill, but really, not fully grounded in our culture.
“I know that’s a difficult and controversial thing to say, but I think it’s true. And, again, this coronation is going to highlight far too much our differences rather than what unites us.”
Asked if he was speaking “in terms of religion”, the 78-year-old responded: “In terms of religion.”
Former chancellor and Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi led the criticism of Starkey. He said: “That is an ill-informed opinion. A racist opinion.
“He only needs to spend a few hours with Rishi or with me in Stratford-on-Avon or Yorkshire to realise how our culture is strong and has been rooted in diversity, pride and love. He could do with reading Shakespeare.”
Caroline Nokes, the Conservatve MP for Romsey and Southampton North, added: “What a vile and racist comment to make. The PM grew up in my constituency and is as British as both me and David Starkey.”
The monarch is the head of the Church of England, while Sunak, born in Southampton to African-born Hindu parents of Indian Punjabi descent is Hindu. Sunak is expected to read a passage from the Bible during the coronation.
GB News deleted a tweet with Starkey’s remarks within an hour of them being made but it was already being shared on Twitter.
Sharkey has previously caused offence with controversial comments. Three years ago, discussing Black Lives Matter in 2020, he said that “slavery was not genocide”.
He claimed: “Otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there? You know, an awful lot of them survived.”
According to The Guardian, Starkey apologised “unreservedly” for the offence his “deplorably inflammatory” statements had caused. He said he had spoken “with awful clumsiness”.