Boris Johnson flatly refused to take sides in the row over the extraordinary Harry and Meghan row today as Downing Street insisted he has not even watched the bombshell interview – while Labour demanded a Palace probe into claims of racism.
The PM batted away questions about his views on the dramatic intervention by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as he hosted a No10 press conference this evening.
Mr Johnson said he had the ‘highest admiration’ for the Queen and the ‘unifying role’ she played for the UK and Commonwealth.
But he added: ‘I’ve spent a long time not commenting on Royal Family matters and I don’t intend to depart from that today.’
Pushed again for his opinion, Mr Johnson said: ‘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.’
However, climate minister Lord Goldsmith – a close ally of Carrie Symonds – did wade into the raging controversy, tweeting that ‘Harry is blowing up his family’.
‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets,’ the peer added in an apparent reference to a remark the Prince reputedly made about his wife.
Earlier Mr Johnson’s spokesman was pressed repeatedly on the allegations levelled during the interview – including that there were Royal concerns about what skin colour the couple’s child might have.
Asked whether Mr Johnson agreed with Labour there should be a probe into the racism claims, the spokesman said: ‘It is a matter for the Palace but the Prime Minister hasn’t seen those interviews.’
In contrast to Mr Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the allegations made by the Duchess must be taken seriously.
Speaking during a visit to a school in Dagenham, east London, Sir Keir said: ‘It is really sad to see the family in turmoil like this.
‘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.
‘Nobody, but nobody, should be prejudiced (against) because of the colour of their skin or because of their mental health issues.
‘This is bigger than the royal family. For too many years we have been too dismissive and too willing to put these issues to one side.’