Female MPs band together in letter of 'solidarity' with Duchess of Sussex

30 October 2019, 14:17

Female MPs wrote a letter in support of the Duchess of Sussex
Female MPs wrote a letter in support of the Duchess of Sussex. Picture: Holly Lynch/PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

MPs from across the political spectrum have penned a joint letter supporting the Duchess of Sussex for "taking a stand" against the "distasteful" media coverage she has experienced.

The document, written by Holly Lynch, bears the signatures of 72 female parliamentarians and criticises the "colonial" and "outdated" media coverage which has "invaded her privacy."

Cross-party MPs pledged to use the "means at [their] disposal" to ensure stories written about Meghan "reflect the truth" and force the press to grant her the right to privacy and respect.

The letter comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have begun legal action against the owners of The Sun, The Mirror and the Mail on Sunday.

Meghan claims the weekend newspaper unlawfully published one of her private letters and Harry's action against the tabloids relates to alleged phone hacking.

The Duchess had previously revealed her British friends had told her not to marry Harry because UK tabloids would "destroy" her life.

In the letter posted on social media Ms Lynch said the media had invaded the duchess' privacy and "sought to cast aspersions" on her character in the stories and headlines they had written.

It read: "As women MPs of all political persuasions, we wanted to express our solidarity with you in taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature of the stories printed in a number of our national newspapers concerning you, your character and your family.

"On occasions, stories and headlines have represented an invasion of your privacy and have sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see.

"Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of there stories.

"As women Members of Parliament from all backgrounds, we stand with you in saying it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged."

Female MPs understand and are subject to "abuse and intimidation" used as a "means of disparaging women in public office," according to Ms Lynch's letter.

It continued: "We expect the national media to have the integrity to know when a story is in the national interest, and when it is seeking to tear a woman down for no apparent reason.

"You have our assurances that we stand with you in solidarity on this."

Ms Lynch said she drafted the letter because she had become "increasingly uncomfortable" with what was bring written and reported about Meghan.

The MP, who also has a young baby of her own, said: "As women in public life we have some insight into how it feels, but when we stick together we can make a difference."

Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney, a close friend of the Duchess, praised the letter on Twitter, writing: "This is what I'm talking about."

Prince Harry had previously condemned the "ruthless campaign" against Meghan, saying: "I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces."