Harry claims he wasn't given proper UK security protection due to 'irrational' Home Office decision

ITV News' Royal Editor Chris Ship has the latest - what is Prince Harry hoping to achieve in this row with the Home Office?

Prince Harry has claimed he was not given proper security protection in the UK because of an “irrational” and “unlawful” decision by the Home Office, his lawyers have argued.

Once again, a courtroom inside London’s High Court is being kept busy today by a legal case brought by the Duke of Sussex.

Harry is arguing that a decision in 2020, which removed his state-funded security when he’s in the UK, was not taken properly and the committee which made that decision did not follow its own procedures. 

Much of the hearing will be held in private because of concerns about Prince Harry's privacy. Lizzie Robinson is at the High Court.

But lawyers acting for the Home Secretary claim the decision was to give Prince Harry a “bespoke” security arrangement following his decision to leave the Royal Family and move to the US.

The legal case is focused on a Home Office body known as RAVEC - the Royal and VIP Executive Committee - which decides what levels of security are provided for each member of the royal family and other high profile personnel.

Harry’s case is that the decision to remove his police protection in the UK after he decided to move to California with Meghan, was the wrong one.

His legal team has told Court 3 in the Royal Courts of Justice that RAVEC did not seek a risk assessment of Prince Harry’s security, as it is compelled to.

The Duke’s lawyers told Mr Justice Lane that RAVEC did not follow its own procedures which state that a risk analysis should first be sought from the Risk Management Board before taking any decision about an individual’s security provision.

It was the “first time” the body had decided to “deviate from its own procedures”, the court was told and that “no good reason” was provided for “singling” Harry out. 

In the Duke of Sussex’s legal submission to the court, his lawyers argued that “RAVEC failed to follow its own policy” and “failed to treat the claimant [Prince Harry] in the way it treated others”.

And even though the Duke of Sussex had moved first to Canada and then the United States, he had not formally quit as a working member of the Royal Family at the time the decision was made in 2020.

For those reasons, Harry’s legal team told the court that the decision was “unlawful”.

Lawyers for the Home Secretary, who delegates these security decisions to RAVEC, argued the decision was based on Harry’s decision to cease being a working Royal.

The court was told the decision was properly based on “threat assessments” and that Prince Harry could not expect to have his security provided “on the same basis” after he decided to spend the “majority of his time abroad”.

Harry and Meghan have been outspoken critics of the way social media firms handle child safety. Credit: PA

Harry’s security, argued Home Office lawyers, is now provided “at the level deemed appreciate under certain circumstances”.

That meant the Prince has been placed in a “bespoke position” and accordingly he now has “bespoke arrangements” which are "tailored to him”.

Prince Harry has already lost an earlier legal fight to pay money for UK police protection when he is visiting his home country. 

The Home Office will put forward its defence later – and maintains it was the correct decision and taken in the right way.

Prince Harry has already lost an earlier legal fight to pay money for UK police protection when he is visiting his home country.

The response from the government was that Metropolitan Police protection is “not for hire” and is provided where necessary on a case by case basis.

This legal fight is unrelated to the other cases the Duke of Sussex has brought against the publishers of various newspapers including the Mail on Sunday, the Mirror and The Sun.

It is scheduled for three days this week in the Royal Courts of Justice and the judgment will be reserved – meaning a ruling on whether or not the decision about Harry’s security was lawful, will take some time.

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