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'Who are these people?': Ex-Transport Minister calls for reduced Royal family
16 February 2022, 22:11 | Updated: 16 February 2022, 22:15
Former Transport Minister Norman Baker has questioned why UK taxpayers are paying for 44 members of the Royal family and suggests it should be reduced to the monarch, their children, and their grandchildren.
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The comments, made on Iain Dale's Cross Question show, come after Prince Andrew settled a civil sex assault case brought by Virginia Giuffre.
Mr Baker said: "The tree that doesn't bend will break, is an old-fashioned saying.
"The monarchy hasn't changed very much for a very, very long time and it now needs to change to survive.
"This isn't my personal opinion, it's an objective view."
Mr Baker continued: "The front cover of my book... has 44 of them on the balcony. I mean, who are these people? Why are we paying for these people?
"We're paying security for a lot of them, who you've never heard of. Princess Alice and people?"
The former Transport Minister suggested that the monarchy should be like it is in Scandinavia, with the "monarch, the monarch's children, and the monarch's grandchildren and that's it. And the rest of them go out and earn a living!"
Iain then asked his guests "I think we could all buy into that, couldn't we?", and they all agreed.
"I think the average person in the street, if I get it right, wants a monarchy, likes the Queen, but doesn't want all the rest of the periphery, the tax breaks, and everything else that goes with it," Mr Baker concluded.