POLITICS

Labour MP Emma Dent Coad Hits Out At The Sun Over Coverage Of Anti-Royal Family Remarks

'I'm allowed to have an opinion'.

27/09/2017 08:56 BST | Updated 27/09/2017 13:50 BST

A Labour MP has hit out at national media coverage of anti-Royal Family remarks she made at a party conference event.

Emma Dent Coad described herself as “the Royal Family’s worst nightmare” and allegedly made fun of Prince Harry’s military service - prompting Barrow MP and Labour colleague John Woodcock to apologise on her behalf.

But responding to coverage of her comments in The Sun, Dent Coad told HuffPost UK: “This front page coverage from The Sun response proves my point about the right-wing press running the narrative in relation to the Royals.

“I’ve spoken five times at conference about the Grenfell fire but this is all they are interested in. We should be allowed to have an opinion. Let’s have a proper debate about the Royal Family.”

The newly-elected Kensington MP called for the Royals’ public funding to be scrapped and revealed she refused to meet the Queen on principle when the Monarch visited the site after the Grenfell Tower fire.

She also reportedly mocked Prince Harry’s military service and claimed he and brother Prince William were “not very bright”, telling delegates at a Labour conference fringe event: “Harry can’t actually fly a helicopter... He tried to pass the helicopter exam about four times and he couldn’t get through it at all so he always goes for the co-pilot.

“So he just sits there going ‘vroom vroom’.”

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Labour MP John Woodcock.

Woodcock, a former chair of Labour’s backbench defence committee, posted a statement on Twitter to say he was sorry the comments had been made.

He wrote: “I want to make clear that the highly inaccurate comments reportedly made by one of our colleagues, which disparage Prince Harry’s military service, in no way reflect the views of my party.

“Like everyone who puts themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe, His Royal Highness deserves nothing but praise and respect for his service in the armed forces.

“In addition to his tours of duty in Afghanistan, Prince Harry inspires so many by the way he champions injured, ill and wounded servicemen and women and veterans through the Invictus Games he founded.  I am really sorry this has happened.”

PA Wire/PA Images
Prince Harry presents a medal to a veteran at the Invictus Games.

The prince served in the Army for a decade and was a qualified Apache helicopter pilot.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner also said she disagreed with Dent Coad’s comments and that Harry’s championing of veterans was “an inspiration”.

She told broadcasters on Wednesday: “She will have to respond to her comments herself.

“I think William and Harry have actually made the Royal Family quite trendy again - and the Royals have been part of the staple British diet for many of us growing up.”