Priti Patel has dismissed suggestions that the Duchess of Sussex has been subjected to racist press coverage, saying people of any background can “get on in life” in Britain.
The home secretary said she had not seen any debates or commentary about Meghan which she thought were racist – despite claims that racism has driven negative media reports.
Patel’s comments come as senior royals race to thrash out plans for Harry and Meghan’s future following the couple’s announcement that they plan to ‘step back as senior royals’.
In November 2016, Harry lashed out at the “wave of abuse and harassment” the US actress had faced from the media – citing the “racial undertones of comment pieces” among his concerns.
Patel, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, rejected suggestions that Meghan had been subjected to racist press coverage.
She said: “I’m not in that category at all where I believe there’s racism at all. I think we live in a great country, a great society, full of opportunity, where people of any background can get on in life.”
Asked if the media had been in any way racist, she replied: “I don’t think so, no… I certainly haven’t seen that through any debates or commentary or things of that nature.”
The cabinet minister also refused to comment on future security arrangements for the duke and duchess if they step back from royal life.
“I’m not going to provide any detailed information on the security arrangements for either them or any members of the royal family or for any protected individuals – that’s thoroughly inappropriate for me to do so.
“At this moment in time, right now, the royal family themselves need some time and space for them to work through the current issues that they’re dealing with.”
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.