Jeremy Corbyn says there are 'racial undertones' in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle media coverage

Posted On: 
15th January 2020

Jeremy Corbyn agrees with Prince Harry that there are “racial undertones” in the media coverage of his wife Meghan Markle, as the Labour leader backed the pair's decision to quit as “senior” Royals.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said they want to step back as 'senior' Royals
PA Images

A spokesperson fo Mr Corbyn said he had "spoken out" about the issue and "understands how press intrusion can have a negative impact on people and their private lives".

It comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the shock move to step back from their roles and spend much of their time in North America.

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They have repeatedly taken issue with press reporting on their lives, and in 2016, shortly after they began dating, Harry put out a statement saying: “Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.

“Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”

Asked following Prime Minister’s Questions if Mr Corbyn agreed, the spokesperson said: “Yes. He agrees with the broad sentiment that Harry has put forward.”

They added: “Jeremy’s commented in the past in relation to Prince Harry and Meghan, about press intrusion and its impact on people and their families and, to use Prince Harry’s words, the racial undertones in relation to how the media has approached Meghan."

His words follow a suggestion from one of those trying to succeed Mr Corbyn as Labour leader, Clive Lewis, that the Duchess had been the victim of "structural racism" in the media.

The Norwich MP, who has since dropped out of the race, told Sky news: "We can see it with Meghan Markle and the way that she's been treated in the media.

“We know this is a reality of the 21st century still after 400 years of racism."

But the Home Secretary Priti Patel told the BBC the American former actress has not faced racism in the media.

She argued that people of any background “can get on in life” in the UK, describing it as a “great society, full of opportunity”.

Asked directly if she believed the media had been in any way racist towards Meghan, Ms Patel replied: “I don’t think so, no.

“I certainly haven’t seen that through any debates or commentary or things of that nature.”