Prince Harry loses bid against Home Office over his UK security arrangements
The Duke of Sussex has lost a bid to bring a second High Court challenge against the Home Office over his security arrangements when visiting the UK.
Harry was seeking the go-ahead from the High Court to secure a judicial review over a decision that he should not be allowed to pay privately for his protective security.
The early-stage legal action was among five other civil cases that the duke is pursuing through the court in London.
At a hearing earlier this month, a judge was asked by Harry’s legal team to allow the duke to bring a case 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.
The Home Office, opposing Harry’s claim, 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”.
Mr Justice Chamberlain gave his ruling at 10.30am on Tuesday.
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 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.
Harry’s lawyers told the court earlier this month that the Home Office delegated an “issue of principle” to Ravec over “whether an individual whose position had been determined by Ravec not to justify protective security should be permitted to receive protective security but to reimburse the public purse for the cost of that security provision”.
Ravec later concluded that “individuals should not be permitted to privately fund protective security”, the judge was told.
Tuesday’s ruling 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.