Royal race row charity boss steps down as chief executive of Sistah Space

The charity boss who was at the centre of a royal race row has stepped down from leading her domestic violence organisation because of the backlash she has faced.

Ngozi Fulani revealed she has temporarily resigned as chief executive of Sistah Space, the charity she founded, as she criticised Buckingham Palace for not tackling the abuse she suffered in wake of the incident.

Ms Fulani went public to express her shock in November when Lady Susan Hussey, the late Queen’s lady in waiting, repeatedly asked the black British charity leader where she “really came from” at a Palace reception highlighting violence against women.

Lady Susan later apologised in person to Ms Fulani and for the distress her comments had caused.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Wednesday, Ms Fulani said: “We, the Sistah Space charity, has suffered as a result, direct result.

“When you think that this was supposed to be for violence against women and girls, because of this incident, the violence has been directed to me, the Palace hasn’t intervened, I think they could have.

“So what I’ve had to do, I’ve now temporarily stepped down as CEO of Sistah Space.

Member of Palace household comments
Ngozi Fulani at the reception in Buckingham Palace in November last year (Kin Cheung/PA)

“I’m announcing that now because the service users and the community can’t access us properly.

“This whole thing has cost us a fortune because we had to pay our own PR to stop the press from coming up, it was horrible.”

In December, after Lady Susan and Ms Fulani spoke face to face to address the incident, the Palace said in a statement that the meeting had been “filled with warmth and understanding”.

The statement said Ms Fulani had “unfairly received the most appalling torrent of abuse on social media and elsewhere” and that she had accepted Lady Susan’s apology.

Royals attend church service
Lady Susan Hussey attends a church service at Sandringham in Norfolk in January (Joe Giddens/PA)

GMB presenter Richard Madeley claimed the Palace said on Tuesday night: “For the avoidance of any doubt, we are deeply sorry for the incident that took place and apologise for the distress and difficulty it caused to Ms Fulani.”

Ms Fulani told him: “Who are they apologising to? If you’re sorry, tell me you’re sorry, if you’re not… It speaks for itself.”

She added: “If you have to ask someone for an apology, it is not an apology.”

Buckingham Palace said it gave right-of-reply comments to GMB after being made aware fresh assertions were to be made on the programme.

Apologies on behalf of the Palace are understood to have been made to Ms Fulani and her representatives at the meeting with Lady Susan in December.

It is also understood Sistah Space sent a message to the Palace afterwards, thanking those involved for their support of Ms Fulani and the charity, and that the support included helping her with security concerns, and with the handling of some of the abuse she received on social media and elsewhere.

The Palace is understood to have continued to engage with Ms Fulani regarding what might be learned further from the charity, but is yet to hear back.