Prince Harry has launched a legal battle against a decision from the Home Office not to allow him to pay for police protection while he and his family are in the UK.
The Duke of Sussex wants to bring his son Archie and daughter Lilibet to the UK for visits. However he believes he and his family are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous.
Harry has argued that the private security team which protects him in the US does not have the required UK jurisdiction or intelligence information to keep him safe from threats in Britain, and therefore wants to pay for security himself, rather than use taxpayers’ money.
Harry and Meghan lost their taxpayer-funded police protection in 2020 in the aftermath of their stepping down as senior royals.
The couple later disclosed that they were paying for private security in the US, Harry has said the multimillion dollar deals he and Meghan have secured with Netflix and Spotify are to pay for the family’s security arrangements, The Independent reports.
A legal representative for the prince has said Harry wants to cover the costs of security himself rather than relying on the taxpayer to foot the bill on his behalf, and first offered to personally pay for his family’s security in January 2020, an offer that was refused.
They said: ‘The goal for Prince Harry has been simple – to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK so his children can know his home country.
‘During his last visit to the UK in July 2021 – to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother – his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event.
‘After another attempt at negotiations was also rejected, he sought a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures, in the hopes that this could be re-evaluated for the obvious and necessary protection required.’
A spokesperson for the government said: ‘The UK government’s protective security system is rigorous and proportionate.
‘It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements. To do so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals’ security. It would also not be appropriate to comment on the detail of any legal proceedings.’
The legal claim was filed in September 2021 and will see the Home Office’s decision challenged in the High Court.
The Duke of Sussex’s legal spokesperson said they were releasing the statement now ‘due to a leak in a UK tabloid’, leading Harry to feel it necessary to go about ‘setting the facts straight’.
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