Harry's Taliban kill count claim 'wrong and a very serious mistake', ex-defence secretary says amid veterans' fury

6 January 2023, 16:09 | Updated: 7 January 2023, 02:42

Harry said he killed 25 Taliban and his comments have been attacked by Lord Hutton
Harry said he killed 25 Taliban and his comments have been attacked by Lord Hutton. Picture: Alamy

By Henry Riley

Former Defence Secretary Lord Hutton has labelled Prince Harry's Taliban comments a 'very serious mistake', saying 'it diminishes him'.

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He told LBC that Prince Harry's comment in relation to killing members of the Taliban are 'inappropriate and wrong'.

Lord Hutton, 67, slammed the Duke of Sussex, telling LBC 'it's absolutely not the right thing for anyone to be saying… and I'm sure he now bitterly regrets saying that' – adding that it 'diminishes him'.

In his memoir, the duke describes killing 25 members of the Taliban as 'chess pieces taken off the board', leading to condemnation from high profile former officers.

Read more: Taliban brands Prince Harry 'big mouth loser' and accuses him of war crimes after he admits killing 25 fighters

Lord Hutton criticised Harry's comments
Lord Hutton criticised Harry's comments. Picture: Alamy

Lord Hutton, who was the Defence Secretary until 2009, branded the comments 'a very serious mistake', saying 'it's not what we expect from someone who has held the positions of authority and responsibility'.

Mr Hutton added that what Prince Harry had said 'grates horribly', before adding he was concerned by the 'sense of bravado about it'. He said: "I think most people who have served in the armed forces will recoil from it."

He added "It's just wrong on every level."

Read more: 'He's shed a lot of shame on the royal family': Brits slam Harry for 'airing dirty laundry' in public

His comments were echoed by former military chief, General Sir Richard Barrons.

Sir Richard, the former Deputy Chief of the General Staff, told LBC that 'my view is that you don't talk about these things, these are things that happen on the battlefield'.