Jeremy Corbyn shares concerns about 'racial undertones' of Meghan coverage

Alan McGuinness, political reporter

Jeremy Corbyn shares the concerns raised by Prince Harry about the "racial undertones" in the media coverage of his wife Meghan, the Labour leader's office has said.

A spokeswoman said the Labour leader backed the assessment of the Duke of Sussex, who has hit out at media treatment of the Duchess of Sussex.

"Jeremy has commented in the past in relation to Prince Harry and Meghan, about press intrusion and its impact on people and their families and, to use Prince Harry's words as well, the 'racial undertones' in relation to how the media has approached Meghan," she said.

The spokeswoman added that Mr Corbyn had "spoken out" about the issue and "understands how press intrusion can have a negative impact on people and their private lives".

Prince Harry issued a statement through his communications secretary in 2016, hitting out at the "wave of abuse and harassment" the Duchess of Sussex had faced from the media.

He cited the "racial undertones of comment pieces" among his concerns.

The couple announced their intention to "step back" from their position as senior royals last week.

The media attention the pair have received since their relationship began is widely believed to be one of the factors behind the decision.

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A tumultuous week for the Royal Family saw a summit at Sandringham on Monday.

After the meeting - involving the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles - Buckingham Palace announced that Her Majesty agreed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex could step back as senior royals and start a "new life" as an "independent" family.

The pair will begin a "transition period" in which they will split their time between the UK and Canada.

In an interview on Tuesday, Boris Johnson declined to answer questions on whether race had played a part in the coverage of Meghan joining the Royal Family.

The prime minister said he was "absolutely confident" that the royals would resolve the issues surrounding Harry and Meghan stepping back - and would do so "much more easily without running commentary from politicians".

Asked about whether media intrusion was a factor, Mr Johnson said: "Everybody has got an opinion but it doesn't mean the problem is helped by politicians weighing in."

Home Secretary Priti Patel dismissed suggestions that Meghan has been subject to racist press coverage.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I'm not in that category at all where I believe there's racism at all.

"I think we live in a great country, a great society, full of opportunity, where people of any background can get on in life."

Asked if the media had been racist in any way, Ms Patel replied: "I don't think so, no… I certainly haven't seen that through any debates or commentary or things of that nature."