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British women in parliament send letter of ‘solidarity’ to Meghan Markle in her fight against U.K. media

The Daily Beast

October 29, 2019

72 British female MPs back Meghan taking a stand against the “distasteful and misleading nature” of tabloid stories, and condemn the “colonial undertones” in some coverage.

A cross-party group of British female MPs has written a letter of “solidarity” to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, in her legal battle against the press.

In the open letter published Tuesday, the 72 MPs say Meghan has suffered an “invasion of privacy” at the hands of the press, which has written stories and headlines that have “sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see.”

Meghan is presently suing the Mail on Sunday newspaper, claiming that when it published the contents of a letter she sent her father, it altered and did not publish in full all that she wrote.

The Mail on Sunday has categorically denied “that the Duchess’ letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”

Prince Harry is has also started legal proceedings against the owners of the Sun and Mirror newspapers, claiming that they hacked his phones.

Publishing their letter on Twitter, the female MPs—led by Labour MP for Halifax Holly Lynch, who organized it—said that the women were putting aside their political differences to “stand in solidarity” with the Duchess.

The letter states the MPs’ support the Duchess in “taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature” of newspaper stories about her, her character, and her family.

The letter adds, “Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories.”

The invasive coverage, the letter states, “cannot go unchallenged,” though does not specify which stories it is referring to, and which elements of such stories were invasive or misleading. Lynch did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, and nor did representatives for Harry and Meghan and the Royal Family.

In an explosive, recent ITV documentary, later shown on ABC in the United States, Meghan said, “It’s hard… I had no idea—which probably sounds difficult to understand here—but when I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great. But you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’ And I very naively—I’m American, we don’t have that there—said, ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense.’ I didn’t get it. So, it’s been complicated.”

“Not many people have asked if I’m OK, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes,” she added.

When interviewer Tom Bradby asked Meghan if that meant she wasn’t OK, she replied, “Yes.”

I thought it would be fair,” Meghan added. “And that’s the part that’s really hard to reconcile.”

Although they have a different kind of public life, the female MPs state in their letter, “we share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation which is now so often used as a means of disparaging women in public office from getting on with our very important work.”

The media, the letter states, should know the difference between a story in the national interest and one which seeks “to tear a woman down for no apparent reason.”

The women say they will use the means at their disposal to ensure the media respects the Duchess’ right to privacy, and that the stories about her are respectful and true.