Royal Family is ‘shielded from scrutiny’ as Labour campaigners seek to end legal exemption


EXCLUSIVE: Sir Keir Starmer is under pressure to end the Royal Households’ exemption to the Equalities Act, which protects workers from discrimination.


A group aligned to Labour wants to scrap the monarchy (Image: Getty)

Labour for a Republic wants national party chiefs to include the Royal Family being subject to the Equalities Act in Labour’s next general election manifesto.

A motion drawn up by the group reads: “Every worker in the UK deserves protection from the Equalities Act. No employer should be free to discriminate on the grounds of race, sexuality, gender or disability, regardless of who that employer is.

“Labour must take action to ensure that the royal family is subject to the Equality Act and provide these workers with the protection they deserve.”

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To date, the motion has been passed by the party’s Hassocks, Pontypridd, Beverley and Holderness, Church End, West Finchley and Woodhouse, Bexhill and Battle and Chippenham CLPs.

Labour for a Republic maintains that Buckingham Palace’s exemption from both the Equalities Act and Freedom of Information Act shield it from public scrutiny.

Mr Clinton said: “It means you could be discriminated against and it would be very hard to know if a case had been brought.

“The monarchy is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act so you can’t easily see if there are [discrimination] cases in the Royal Household. [The FOI exemption] shields them.

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By putting forward its motion, the group also wants to push the importance of workers’s rights up Labour’s agenda.

Mr Clinton said his pressure group would like to see Labour call a referendum on whether Britain should become a Republic.

He said: “Over time, we would like to see [a referendum on the monarchy] at one point in the future.

“That’s of great importance to us. We would want to see it done through a referendum. At the moment we’re focused on getting reforms through.”

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He said: “Recent surveys from polling company Find Out Now show an overwhelming 70 percent of Labour voters support our proposed change, which would end the Monarchy’s exemption from legislation protecting workers from discrimination based on race, sex, gender, age, religion and disability.

“Alongside this, the rest of the population supports this by a 58-42 margin, a clear majority.”

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The campaign coordinator said: “We’re seeing that shift towards more democracy at a time when we’re seeing democratic back-sliding worldwide.

“[The monarchy] is an institution that is outdated. [The polling] is showing a trend, particularly among young people.”

He cited polling showing that among 18-24 year olds 37.5 percent want a monarchy while 44.5 would prefer an elected head of state.

Among 25-34 year olds, polling shows 40.4 percent in favour of a monarchy and 49.4 percent favouring an elected head of state.

He added recent allegations of discrimination against the Royal Family, such as the racism row surrounding Lady Susan Hussey, have helped spread the republican cause among young people.

Mr Clinton said: “Prince Harry has seen a big drop in support. Charles’s approval rating is quite low. That all feeds into the debate.”

He argued Britain has seen major constitutional changes, including Brexit and devolution, with the group committed to building support for reform and eventual abolition of the monarchy.

Labour has been approached for comment.


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