Boris Johnson refuses to comment on Meghan Markle interview
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey threw the royals into crisis yesterday, with a series of serious allegations levelled at the monarchy. The couple accused a member of the family of making a racist remark about the skin colour of their first child and of failing to provide help when the Duchess was struggling with her mental health.
Last night Government minister Lord Goldsmith accused the couple of launching a direct attack against the Duke’s family.
He said “Harry is blowing up his family” as he appeared to blame Meghan Markle, adding: “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”
Lord Goldsmith is the only Government minister so far to publicly voice his opinion on the couple’s interview.
Asked on five occasions if Mr Johnson disagreed with the comments this afternoon, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman refused to comment.
Boris Johnson has refused to reject Zac Goldsmith’s comments (Image: PA)
The No10 official said: “I’ve got nothing to add to what the Prime minister said during the press conference yesterday.”
Last night the Prime Minister told a coronavirus briefing: “I have spent a long time now not commenting on Royal Family matters and I don’t intend to depart from that today”.
He added: “I really think that when it comes to matters to do with the Royal Family, the right thing for prime ministers to say is nothing – and nothing is the thing that I propose to say today about that particular matter.”
It is highly unusual for No10 not to slap down comments made by ministers which it does not agree with.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman also confirmed this afternoon that Mr Johnson had sat down to watch the interview when it aired on ITV last night despite the Conservative leader previously saying he would “probably miss it”.
While Mr Johnson refused to comment on the accusations made by the Sussex’s when asked last night, he gave his full support to the Queen.
Last night Boris Johnson said he would not comment on the documentary (Image: No10)
He said: “I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role that she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth.”
Downing Street’s refusal to reject criticism made by the minister criticising the interview is in stark contrast to remarks in the US where President Joe Biden praised the couple for their “courage” in speaking out.
The US President’s press secretary Jen Psaki said: “For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage and that’s certainly something the president believes.”
Despite giving its backing to the couple, the White House said the special relationship with the UK would not be impeded.
Lord Goldsmith accused Meghan and Harry of ‘blowing up’ the Royal Family (Image: PA)
Ms Psaki said: “Let me just reiterate that we have a strong and abiding relationship with the British people and a special partnership with the government of the United Kingdom on a range of issues and that will continue.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also waded into the row, as he called for the racism accusations made by the couple are “serious”.
He said: “The issues that Meghan has raised of racism and mental health are really serious issues.
“It is a reminder that too many people experience racism in 21st century Britain.
“We have to take that very, very seriously.”
Shadow education secretary Kate Green added: “If there are allegations of racism, I would expect them to be treated by the palace with the utmost seriousness and fully investigated.”
The Royal Family are yet to comment on any of the issues raise in the interview.
Oprah With Meghan and Harry aired on ITV at 9pm on Monday March 8. You can watch the full interview on the ITV hub