Taxpayers foot bill of more than $121K for Prince Harry's legal dispute with Home Office over UK protection
Taxpayers have reportedly already paid approximately £100,000 ($121,629) for Prince Harry's legal dispute with the Home Office for police security for the Sussexes. The Duke of Sussex sued the government after being informed that he would no longer receive the same degree of protection while traveling from the US as he did when he was fulfilling his official royal duties.
He had previously stated that he would like to fly his wife Meghan Markle and their children Archie and Lilibet from the United States when he came to the UK, but they are unable to do so due to the level of risk. The Home Office is said to have spent approximately $109,513 on the case between September 2021 and May 2022. According to The Sun, this amount is believed to have gone toward the government's legal division ($67,163), legal counsel ($42,329), and couriers ($20).
Since May, there have been two sessions before the High Court in London, and it is anticipated that the final fee will be more than $121,629. Once the court permits Harry's legal team to pursue a portion of his claim for a judicial review of the Home Office's decision, that amount is said to increase even more. Although, if the Home Office is granted its expenses back by the court, the taxpayers' costs would be lower. The Priti Patel-led Whitehall organization has already stated that it will ask Harry for payment of its legal fees if his High Court case is unsuccessful.
Harry successfully secured the right to file a High Court lawsuit against the Home Office for his safety measures in the UK last week. The 37-year-old Duke of Sussex filed a lawsuit after learning that since he stood down from his role in the Royal Family and relocated to the US, he wouldn't receive the "same degree" of personal protection when on trips.
Harry's attorneys will be permitted to present his arguments in a judicial review of the Home Office decision, according to a High Court judge who found that Harry had a debatable case. Four out of the five bases on which Harry launched his petition were said to be fair by the judge.
At the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Jonathan Swift ruled that the request for permission to file for judicial review was partially granted and partially denied. The judge dismissed Harry's argument that he ought to know who made the judgment on his appeal so he could challenge its appropriateness.
His attorney, Shaheed Fatima QC, testified before the High Court that the Duke was initially notified that it was an autonomous judgment by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec). Harry was not made aware that the Royal Family had participated in the decision to deny automatic security. The court took notice of the royal attorneys' assertions that he should have been notified who the members of Ravec were and had gotten the chance to make suggestions to Ravec's chairman, Sir Richard Mottram, on the propriety of certain people. While the prince may have had disputes with Ravec committee members, there wasn't any indication any had approached choices with a closed mind, according to Judge Swift.
Ravec decided in February 2020 that he would no longer get the same amount of individual protection since leaving the UK and his royal responsibilities. This is the decision that is the subject of the Duke's appeal. Before that, he was protected by the second-highest degree of protection, which Ravec assessed to be a reasonable reaction to the possibility of an assault and the effect of an attack that succeeded. Ravec removed the assurance of police protection once the Duke's official position expired and he was allowed to make his own money and follow his philanthropic activities as a privately-financed member of the Royal Family.
In a message to the Queen's assistant, Ravec chairman Sir Richard said that although the committee will continue to oversee the safety of the Sussex family, there is no justification for publicly funded security protection. The Metropolitan Police's current provision will be discontinued too.
When Harry made one of his infrequent trips to England in June 2021, he said he had just learned the full depth of the alteration and was dissatisfied with the arrangements. The prince claims that considering that he was not given the chance to make an informed representation earlier, there was a procedural injustice in the decision about his protection. According to the Home Office, Ravec was within his rights to decide that his security arrangements would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.