David Starkey isn’t exactly known for being a shrinking violet but he was on especially caustic form on Wednesday’s Today programme.
The outspoken historian caused outrage when he told BBC presenter Nick Robinson to “shut up” and was later labelled an “obnoxious reactionary poseur”.
Starkey, who was appearing on the Radio 4 programme to discuss the parallels between Britain’s imminent divorce from the European Union and the break with the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century, began by insulting previous guests Nick Clegg and Emily Thornberry.
He said: “We’ve of course been here before, this is only the second Brexit. We had a first and much bigger one which was the break with the Roman Catholic church under Henry VIII.
“And unlike the intolerably tedious conversation we’ve just had, they knew what they were doing, which was I think what the great bulk of the British people knew what they were doing in the referendum.”
Robinson defended Clegg and Thornberry, saying: “We invite you on the show and you attack our guests.”
Starkey then retorted: “Shut up and listen to somebody who actually knows something.”
He went on to appear to liken Clegg to Henry VIII’s executed former advisor Thomas More and ended by suggesting he should perhaps meet a similar fate.
Robinson laughed off his comments, ending the segment saying: “Thank you for coming in and insulting our guests.”
Many were outraged by Starkey’s outburst...
Later today, the letter signed by the Prime Minister commencing Article 50 will be delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk.
The process will formally begin at 12.30pm BST ― and last a maximum of two years.