Female MPs write letter 'in solidarity' with Meghan amid media scrutiny

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Meghan, Duchess of SussexImage source, PA Media

Dozens of female MPs have signed a letter in "solidarity" with the Duchess of Sussex for "taking a stand" against media coverage of her and her family.

Led by Labour MP Holly Lynch, the letter criticises the tone of recent stories about Meghan as "outdated", "colonial" and invading her privacy.

"It cannot be allowed to go unchallenged," the group of 72 cross-party MPs say.

It is accused of unlawfully publishing a private letter to her father.

In the letter, shared on Twitter by Ms Lynch, the MPs say they "share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation" faced by many women in public life.

"With this in mind we expect the national media to have the integrity to know when a story is in the national interest, and when it is seeking to tear a woman down for no apparent reason," they say.

"You have our assurances that we stand with you in solidarity on this."

The MPs then pledged to use the "means at our disposal" to ensure the press accept her right to privacy, show respect, and that their stories "reflect the truth".

Among the MPs to sign the letter were Labour MP Yvette Cooper, Lib Dem MP Angela Smith, and Tory MP Tracey Crouch.

'Colonial undertones'

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The duchess recently admitted motherhood was a "struggle" due to intense media interest

What else did the MPs say in the open letter?

The MPs wrote: "As women MPs of all political persuasions, we wanted to express our solidarity with you in taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature of the stories printed in a number of our national newspapers concerning you, your character and your family.

"On occasions, stories and headlines have represented an invasion of your privacy and have sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see.

"Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories.

"As women Members of Parliament from all backgrounds, we stand with you in saying it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged."

The letter follows an emotional ITV documentary last week, when Meghan and the Duke of Sussex described the pressure they had faced from intense media scrutiny.

In the film, the duchess admitted motherhood was a "struggle" due to intense interest from newspapers.

She also said that she was not prepared for the intensity of the tabloid media scrutiny.

In a statement released at the beginning of October, when Meghan launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday, Prince Harry said the "painful" impact of intrusive media coverage had driven the couple to take action.

The duke later filed his own proceedings at the High Court against the owners of the Sun, the defunct News of the World, and the Daily Mirror, in relation to alleged phone-hacking dating back more than a decade.