Prince Harry loses legal challenge against Home Office to pay for police protection in UK
The Duke of Sussex has been defeated in his second legal challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements
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The Home Office decided in 2020 that the duke would no longer receive personal police security while in Britain, even if he covered the cost himself - a decision he was unhappy with.
The High Court ruled he could not also seek a judicial review over whether to let him pay for the specialist police officers out of his own pocket.
At a hearing earlier this month, a judge was asked by Harry’s legal team to allow the him to proceed with a claim over decisions taken by the Home Office and the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) – which falls under the remit of the department – in December 2021 and February 2022.
Opposing Harry’s claim, the Home Office said Ravec considered it was “not appropriate” for wealthy people to “buy” protective security, which might include armed officers, when it had decided that “the public interest does not warrant” someone receiving such protection on a publicly-funded basis.
Lawyers for the Met Police, an interested party in the case, said Ravec had been “reasonable” in finding “it is wrong for a policing body to place officers in harm’s way upon payment of a fee by a private individual”.
In a ruling on Tuesday (23 May), Mr Justice Chamberlain refused Harry permission to bring the second challenge, rejecting it on several grounds.
The court was told at the earlier hearing that Harry’s latest legal challenge was related to an earlier claim he brought against the Home Office. This came after he was told he would no longer be given the “same degree” of personal protective security when visiting the UK.
A full hearing in that challenge, which also focuses on Ravec’s decision-making and for which Harry was given the go-ahead last summer, is yet to be held.
The ruling on Tuesday comes amid an ongoing High Court trial involving the duke, in which he is bringing a contested claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over allegations of unlawful information gathering.
Harry is also waiting for rulings over whether similar cases against publishers Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) and News Group Newspapers (NGN) can go ahead.
A judgment is also expected in the duke’s libel claim against ANL – publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday – over an article on his case against the Home Office.
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