UK

Prince Philip's Retirement Quickly Descends Into Election Row Between Labour And Tory Candidates

Who had 'two hours after it was announced' in the sweepstake?

04/05/2017 16:42 BST

It only took two hours for Prince Philip’s retirement to descend into a political argument.

The Duke of Edinburgh will cease public engagements in the autumn, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday, triggering an outpouring of well-wishing for the 95-year-old’s 70 years of Royal service.

Almost immediately after the announcement was made, Labour’s Chi Onwurah, who is fighting to defend her Newcastle Central seat, tweeted to say he had “retired in financial security” at a time “of his choosing from a job he enjoys”.

She even used Labour’s campaign slogan for the election as a hashtag.

The tweet prompted Tory Nadhim Zahawi, who is also fighting for re-election, to call her “shameful and wrong” and that he was “truly shocked” by her tweet.

“The Royal family should be kept out of politics. I hope you will apologise,” he said.

Onwurah replied that she had “huge respect” for the Prince but also wants “others to enjoy the same freedom of retiring when and how they choose...”

Zahawi told her to “just apologise”, as many people accused Onwurah of poor taste.

While one person said it was hard for the Royals to be kept out of politics when Prince Charles had a history of getting into politics by writing to ministers about Government policy.

Onwurah told MailOnline: “What I was trying to say is wouldn’t it be great if everyone could make this same kind of contribution to the public or private sector that Prince Philip has been able to make over such a long time, and to be able to choose how and when they do that.

“And I just don’t understand how that’s taken as being critical.”