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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 19:50 GMT
Rainbow error makes Balls blush
Ed Balls
Mr Balls admitted relying on the song
Schools Secretary Ed Balls made a schoolboy error in the Commons when he failed to correctly list the colours of the rainbow.

Describing the cover of a departmental paper with a picture of a rainbow, he said: "Isn't it red, yellow, pink and green, purple and orange and blue?"

He admitted relying on the song "I Can Sing A Rainbow" which wrongly includes pink and mixes up the order of colours.

As MPs laughed he smiled saying: "I was thinking of the song".

While the song is wrong, the correct colours are listed in the mnemonic Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, which gives the colours in their correct order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

Mr Balls was giving evidence for the first time to MPs on the Children, Schools and Families Committee.

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