Royalists are outraged after an email was sent to councils reminding them to fly the flag for Prince Andrew on his birthday, taking place on February 19.An email was sent by a civil servant to remind councils to fly the Union Jack to commemorate Prince Andrew’s birthday in coming weeks. The move has shocked the public and critics have accused officials of putting stuffy history in front of public opinion”. MPs and insiders have since hit back at the reminder with one insider branding the move “ridiculous”.
Prince Andrew stepped back from royal duties last year following his controversial BBC Newsnight interview over his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
One council source slammed: “Making this gesture while there is a cloud hanging over the Duke is hugely insulting to Epstein’s victims and those wanting answers.”
Another insider added: “It seems ridiculous.
“The Government doesn’t appear to be noticing what has happened recently, or factoring in the mood of the nation.”
Anger has erupted after town halls were ordered to fly the Union Jack on Prince Andrew’s birthday
An email was sent to councils reminding them to fly the flag for Prince Andrew on his birthday
Prince Andrew is currently on an official list of royals whose birthdays should be marked by having the flag flying on government buildings.
The email was sent by to councils by Dame Melanie Dawes private secretary and the civil servant.
This sparked a flood of angry comments by MPs who are calling for the royal protocol to be scrapped for the prince.
Some have deemed the move “inappropriate” and “insulting” to Epstein’s victims.
JUST IN: BREXIT BEGINS! Australia trade talks start TODAY
Prince Andrew stepped back from royal duties last year following his controversial BBC Newsnight interview
One MP calling for the order to be scrapped is Deputy leadership candidate Ian Murray.
He said: “This protocol has to be binned given the allegations against the Prince.”
Labour MP Wes Streeting also hit out at the protocol, asking the government to take immediate action.
He added: “This would be wholly inappropriate.
BBC TV licence: Furious caller explains how to scrap licence fee [VIDEO]
BBC licence fee is a ‘poll tax’ that ‘victimises poor people’ [INTERVIEW]
Jeremy Vine shocked as caller says it ‘should be a crime to watch BBC’ [VIDEO]
Prince Andrew is currently on an official list of royals whose birthdays should be marked by having the flag flying on government buildings
Both MPs and members of the council are calling for the royal protocol to be scrapped
“It should be knocked on the head immediately.”
The fury comes after BBC Brexit coverage was ripped apart on the latest instalment of Andrew Neil.
Former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale defended Nicky Morgan’s decision to launch a public consultation on whether non-payment of the TV licence fee should remain a criminal offence.
He backed the decision, telling Andrew Neil that there were “serious concerns” over the broadcaster’s coverage of recent political debates, such as Brexit.
Royal family tree
Andrew Neil argued the “real reason” for the move was that the Government is “out for revenge” on the BBC.
Mr Whittingdale did not agree: “There are serious concerns about the way the BBC has covered some of the recent political debate, particularly the Brexit debate.
“I think the Government is quite entitled to express those concerns.
“But that is not the reason why we are considering whether or not to decriminalise.”
Mr Whittingdale continued to defend the Government’s decision: “It is worth looking at.
“Particularly because there is a lot of dissatisfaction. All the opinion polls show people are unhappy about the current arrangement.
“Therefore, while I think there is no prospect of getting rid of the licence fee in the immediate future, there should be a debate about its long term future.
“It is a question which we can address now as to whether it’s still appropriate that it should be a criminal offence, unlike any of the other charges that households have to bear.”