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Andrew Neil’s brutal swipe at Meghan and Harry: ‘A period of silence would be welcome!’

Andrew Neil tells This Morning about his new ‘hobbies’

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The acclaimed broadcaster was criticising the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, claiming the US TV legend did not do a “proper job” because she did not push her interviewees to check if their claims were true. As a legendary interviewer himself, Mr Neil has managed to back many public figures into a corner with well-crafted, but dogmatic questions. That said, he admitted it was a “dynamite interview” that is incredibly damaging to the Royal Family.

He also did not hold back in his criticism for the Royal Family itself during Radio 4’s The Media Show.

He told journalist Amol Rajan he had a run-in with the Queen in 1986 in which he discovered her aides were “prepared to lie”.

When he was editor of the Sunday Times, the newspaper reported the Queen was dismayed by many of Margaret Thatcher’s policies, specifically her reluctance to impose sanctions on Apartheid South Africa. Buckingham Palace disputed the report.

He said: “It taught me that when their backs are up against it, they were prepared to lie, but it also taught me they were not very agile in dealing with the bushfire that threatened to turn into a forest fire.”

This incident was the central feature of episode eight in the fourth season of the Netflix series The Crown.

The former BBC journalist is known for not being afraid to express his opinions and last year responded to the Sussexes’ announcement of their new non-profit Archewell with a request for “silence”.

He wrote in his brutal swipe on Twitter: “A period of silence from both would be ‘something that matters’ to many of us.

“Learning from Harry’s grandmother would be something that matters a lot.”

Many applauded Mr Neil for his frank comments, with one Twitter using replying: “It will be a long time before someone manages to hit bullseye as accurately as you.”

Another claimed: “Their timing of announcements is staggeringly bad” while a third accused the Sussexes of being “attention seekers”.

Later in the year, after Meghan and Harry made some controversial comments about the Commonwealth, Mr Neil took to Twitter again to unleash his frustration.

Harry and Meghan featured in a virtual summit of the Queen’s CommonwealthTrust (QCT) of which they were President and Vice President at the time.

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The pair talked about the importance of acknowledging and scrutinising the British Commonwealth in the context of the Empire and what that means.

However, it was taken by many as an attack on the Queen, who is the head of the Commonwealth and has overseen many changes in it over the past 69 years of her reign.

Harry said: “Certainly when you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.

“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs.

Piers Morgan urges Queen to 'cut' titles from Meghan and Harry

“But, I think we can all acknowledge there is much more still do to.

“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable it needs to be done because guess what? Everybody benefits.”

Many people questioned why Harry and Meghan felt the need to hold a public discussion about such a contentious political issue.

Mr Neil said on Twitter: “What is it that the Commonwealth has done wrong?

“And since they don’t live in it, what’s it got to do with them?”

Mr Neil is now the chairman of a brand new broadcaster GB News.

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