WATCH: Andrea Leadsom calls Jane Austen one of our 'greatest living authors'

Posted On: 
20th July 2017

Oh, the perils of being Leader of the House of Commons.

Andrea Leadsom in the House of Commons, 20/07/17
Credit: 
Parliament TV
Balancing the need to keep things light at the weekly Business Questions session, with the possibility of being asked anything across any policy portfolio, is tricky at the best of times.

Sadly for Andrea Leadsom, it is a high wire act she was unable to pull off today.

After Shadow Commons Leader Valerie Vaz paid tribute to women who had died recently, Leadsom described Jane Austen as one of the UK's "greatest living authors". Yes, that's the Jane Austen who died exactly 200 years ago.

To be fair to Leadsom, she made a noble effort to style out the mistake, noting that "many of us probably wish she were still living".

Maybe the 'Leadsom for leader' campaign may need to go back to the drawing board.

Watch her gaffe in all its glory here: