Labour MP Chi Onwurah condemned for 'shameful' Prince Philip tweet

Prince Philip and the Queen pictured on Thursday after the announcement (PA)

A Labour shadow minister has been branded “shameful” for posting a tweet about the Duke of Edinburgh retiring from public duties which referenced a campaign against pension inequality.

Tory Nadhim Zahawi called on Chi Onwurah to apologise for the comment.

The spat started when Ms Onwurah marked the news that Philip is to step down from official royal duties in the autumn by tweeting: “Congratulations to Prince Philip on retiring in financial security at time of his choosing from a job he enjoys #forthemanynotthefew #waspi.”


The waspi hashtag refers to the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign.

Chi Onwurah (PA)

Mr Zahawi, the Conservative General Election candidate in Stratford-upon-Avon, said he was “shocked” by the shadow business minister’s remark.


He tweeted: “That is shameful & wrong. I am truly shocked by your comments. The Royal family should be kept out of politics. I hope you will apologise.”

Announcing the news,  Buckingham Palace said in a statement it was the Duke’s decision taken with the support of the Queen.

It read: “His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year.

“In taking this decision, the Duke has the full support of the Queen. Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying the Queen.”

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The Duke of Edinburgh is perhaps best known for his gaffes.

He has shocked the public with his outspoken comments and clangers.

His reputation for plain speaking and off-the-cuff remarks has often led to controversy – but also garnered him some affection.

Here are some of his “finest” moments:

  • “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed” (during the 1981 recession).
  • “If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.” (at a 1986 World Wildlife Fund meeting).
  • “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?” (to a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, during a 1995 walkabout).
  • “If a cricketer, for instance, suddenly decided to go into a school and batter a lot of people to death with a cricket bat, which he could do very easily, I mean, are you going to ban cricket bats?” (in 1996, amid calls to ban firearms after the Dunblane shooting).
  • “It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.” (pointing at an old-fashioned fusebox in a factory near Edinburgh in 1999).
During the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit with the Queen to Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park in Queensland, Australia, he surprised Aborigines performers when he asked them “Do you still throw spears at each other?” (01 March 2002)
  • “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” (to British students in China, during the 1986 state visit).
  • In Germany, in 1997, he welcomed German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at a trade fair as “Reichskanzler” – the last German leader who used the title was Adolf Hitler.
  • “You look like a suicide bomber.” (to a young female officer wearing a bullet-proof vest on Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in 2002).
  • “How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?” (meeting disabled David Miller who drives a mobility scooter at the Valentine Mansion in Redbridge in March 2012)
  • “I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress.” (to 25-year-old council worker Hannah Jackson, who was wearing a dress with a zip running the length of its front, on a Jubilee visit to Bromley, Kent, in May 2012)
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