Labour leadership candidate Clive Lewis suggests there should be referendum on Royal Family

Published by Scott Challinor on January 12th 2020, 11:00am

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis has suggested that there should be a referendum on the future of the Royal Family during his Labour leadership campaign launch in south London.

In the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step down as senior royals, Lewis said that he understood their choice and added that "a lot of people would like to see the monarchy scaled down".

Lewis said that many people had discussed that the Royal Family was now "quite large", asking the question: "Why not have a referendum on the future of the Royal Family?"

He added: "Let's talk about what a modern state looks like and what the role of the Royal Family would be.

"We’re a democracy. I’d rather see us as citizens than subjects in the 21st Century."

Lewis later tweeted that he was not calling for the Royal Family to be abolished, but believes that "the question about their size and the money they receive should be one for the public".

Lewis added on his post: "Asking these questions is democratic".

During his speech in Brixton, Lewis also aired his views that the Duchess of Sussex had been subject to racism from the press.

He said: "I think it is extremely unfortunate and a sign of the media we have that they feel they had to do this.

"I know it is not the only reason. But if you look at the intrusion on their lives, if you look at the racism that Meghan Markle has experienced in the British media, then I can understand why."

After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision, justice secretary Robert Buckland called on the British public to “celebrate and support" the contribution the Royal Family makes to the UK and its "important role in public service".

As of Friday afternoon, Lewis is yet to secure the required support from Labour MPs and MEPs to stay in the contest, having garnered nominations from four of the 22 needed. He has until Monday to secure the backing required to stay in the race.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Sir Keir Starmer are other candidates who have won the amount of support required to progress, while shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry had received seven of the 22 required nominations as of Friday afternoon.

The result of the contest and the new Labour leader will be announced on April 4.

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Scott Challinor
Business Editor
January 12th 2020, 11:00am

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