John Bercow says Meghan Markle was victim of 'explicit and obnoxious racism'

James Morris
Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
John Bercow and Meghan Markle (AP/PA)

Former Commons speaker John Bercow has said Meghan Markle was the victim of “explicit and obnoxious racism”.

Mr Bercow was speaking for the first time about the Duchess and Duke of Sussex’s decision to step back from senior royal duties and move to Canada.

He told the Sunday Times: “I want to say that I believe unequivocally that Meghan has been the victim of explicit and obnoxious racism.

“I am crystal clear about that. She has been subjected to racism, sexism and misogyny.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

“Harry and Meghan have a right to opt for change, accepting some of the consequences and costs. They are entitled to put their marriage and health first.”

Mr Bercow also said Meghan has been attacked because she is a “feminist” who has previously spoken out against Donald Trump.

The Sussexs’ dramatic announcement last month that they were stepping back from royal duties sparked debate about whether Meghan, who is mixed race, has been subjected to racism.

Prince Harry himself has previously criticised “racial undertones” of media coverage about Meghan, something Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he agreed with last month.

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, on the other hand, has claimed “this ‘it’s all racism’ defence of Meghan is so wrong and such a disgraceful smear on the British people who welcomed our first mixed-race royal with huge enthusiasm”. Mr Morgan has launched a series of tirades against Meghan, who he claimed suddenly cut off their friendship in 2015.

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Meanwhile, in the same interview, Mr Bercow was asked how he felt about Boris Johnson’s Conservatives getting a huge Commons majority in December’s general election.

The former Tory MP, who was accused of obstructing the Brexit process during his time in the speaker’s chair, said: “Sorry, because I knew it meant Brexit would definitely go ahead, and that’s a negative for the country.”

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