Jacqui Smith claims the Duke of York made racist comments

Published on 19 November 2019 by BrickTop

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Last modified 19 October 2020

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Prince Andrew made ‘unbelievable’ racist comments about Arabs including camel jokes at state dinner for Saudi Royal family, claims ex-Home Secretary.

Jacqui Smith, the former home secretary who hit the headlines for claiming expenses for two adult films has accused Prince Andrew for making racist comments.

Jacqui Smith, ex-cabinet member, said the Duke of York made the ‘unbelievable’ comments while mingling with British politicians at Buckingham Palace. Mrs Smith told Iain Dale on the LBC Election podcast that the conversation, in which the prince told jokes he thought those present ‘would find amusing’, left the group with ‘slack-jawed’ expressions. She refused to repeat the words uttered by the prince, but confirmed that one joke included ‘a comment about camels’ that was ‘as worse as you can imagine’. Mrs Smith did not reveal when the interaction took place, but the only state visit by the Saudi royal family to occur during her time as Home Secretary was in 2007, with a banquet taking place at the palace on October 30.

Mrs Smith claimed the prince was ‘at the worst end’ of the royal family. She said: ‘I met him several times, including once at a state banquet, where after dinner my husband and I and another Labour cabinet minister had a drink with him. ‘I have to say the conversation left us slack-jawed with the things he felt it appropriate to say. ‘I almost feel I can’t say it; it was the state banquet for the Saudi royal family and he made racist comments about Arabs that were unbelievable. ‘That he thought we might find these amusing was a terrible situation to be in.’ Mrs Smith said she felt ashamed for not challenging the prince on the comments, adding: ‘It was a state banquet, we were in Buckingham Palace, we were cabinet ministers, I feel ashamed that we didn’t but we didn’t.’ She also claimed in Saturday’s podcast that the prince was ‘not very bright’, having met him several times in her role as a senior Labour minister.

She added: ‘I don’t think he really understands the way in which you behave and in some ways that’s not surprising, because you’re pretty insulated in the royal family. ‘But he’s at the worst end of the royal family, I think.’ In a statement to MailOnline, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: ‘HRH has undertaken a considerable amount of work in the Middle East over a period of years and has many friends from the region. ‘He does not tolerate racism in any form.’ The latest accusation of racism against the prince comes after a Downing Street aide claimed he used the phrase ‘nigger in the woodpile’ during meetings. Rohan Silva, who worked for David Cameron, deepened the Duke of York’s crisis and said he was left ‘reeling at the prince’s use of language’. Mr Silva told the Evening Standard that he met Andrew in 2012 and asked him if he felt the Government ‘could be doing a better job’ on boosting trade with the world. Andrew then allegedly responded: ‘Well, If you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the nigger in the woodpile’, upsetting Mr Silva, who is of Sri Lankan descent. A year earlier, Mr Silva said he met the Duke of York and on that occasion he allegedly told him: ‘You’ll never get anywhere by playing the white man’.

Andrew did not responded formally but a Buckingham Palace source said: ‘We strenuously deny that these words were ever used’. It came as Andrew’s reputation took a major battering over his disastrous interview with the BBC on Saturday where he floundered as he was asked to explain his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and claims he had sex with one of his young ‘slaves’. Viewers described watching Andrew’s grilling from behind their sofas as he denied having sex with Virginia Roberts because he was in Pizza Express in Woking. He suggested the world-famous picture of his arm around Ms Roberts’ waist could be faked as he denied ever meeting her. Miss Roberts’ evidence that he sweated ‘profusely’ on the three occasions she claims they had sex were explained away by the duke claiming a rush of adrenaline while being shot at during the Falklands conflict in 1982 made it impossible for him to perspire. A royal source claimed last night he has defiantly told his mother the Queen that his appearance on the BBC Two Newsnight special was largely a ‘great success’ – but a friend told the Mail he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview.