Emma Dent Coad has defended herself after making a slur against Prince Harry in which she mocked the young royal’s military service in Afghanistan.
Speaking at the Labour Party Conference, the Labour MP for Kensington told a group of activists that Harry can’t actually fly a helicopter and “just sits there going ‘vroom vroom.’”
At an anti-monarchy meeting, Ms Dent Coad said that she is ‘The Royal Family’s worst nightmare’ and made claims about Prince Harry, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Edinburgh.
At the event, the 62-year-old said that Prince Harry was too incompetent to play a proper role in the Army.
She said: “Harry can’t actually fly a helicopter. He tried to pass the helicopter exam about four times, and he couldn’t get through it at all, so he always goes for the co-pilot.
“So he just sits there going ‘vroom vroom’.”
Ms Dent Coad dismissed the controversy, in which some members of the public called for her to resign her seat over social media.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, she said that the fuss “proves my point about the right-wing press running the narrative in relation to the Royals”.
She added “I’ve spoken five times at conference about the Grenfell fire but this is all they are interested in.
“We should be allowed to have an opinion. Let’s have a proper debate about the Royal Family.”
Ms Dent Coad has faced criticism from all parties following her comments. Fellow Labour MP John Woodcock, tweeted: “The highly inaccurate comments reportedly made by one of our colleagues, which disparage Prince Harry’s military service, in no reflect the views of my party.
“Like everyone who put themselves in harm’s way to keep us safe, His Royal Highness deserves nothing but praise and respect for his service in the armed forces.
“In addition to his tours of duty in Afghanistan, Prince Harry inspires so many by the way he champions injured, ill and wounded servicemen and women through the Invictus Games which he founded.
“I am really sorry that this has happened.”
Meanwhile, Conservative Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood invited the newly elected MP to attend the Invictus Games, set up by Prince Harry, to “learn how it started and about our brave military”.
Prince Harry has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and passed his Apache flying test. In 2013, the Ministry of Defence announced that the young royal had successfully qualified as an Apache aircraft commander.
Since then, he has gone on to found the Invictus Games – an Olympic style event for servicemen and women who were injured in combat, whether that was a mental or physical injury.