19 May 2023

Sunak focusing on UK safety rather than Harry and Meghan’s NYC ‘car chase’

19 May 2023

Rishi Sunak has said “cars in New York are not really my priority” after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s team said they avoided a “near catastrophic car chase” in the US city.

Harry and Meghan were followed by paparazzi after attending an awards ceremony with the duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, according to a spokesman for the couple.

The New York Police Department said there were no arrests, injuries or reported collisions but said “numerous photographers” had “made their transport difficult” on Tuesday evening.

The Prime Minister said he was “not aware of a particular incident in question” and sought to discuss his domestic policies during an interview with the BBC in Japan, where he is attending a G7 summit.

Pressed if he has sympathy with a possible invasion of privacy or safety, Mr Sunak said: “I think just as all of us do, we want to make sure that we go about our day-to-day lives in safety and security.

“My job as Prime Minister is to ensure everyone feels safe in our country. That’s why we put 20,000 more police officers on the street. It’s why we’re giving them the powers to tackle things like knife crime.”

But told the incident under discussion happened in the US, Mr Sunak said: “Cars in New York are not really my priority or my responsibility.

“What is my priority and responsibility is people’s safety at home.”

In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesman for Harry and Meghan said the pair and Meghan’s mother “were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi”.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” he added.

Harry, Meghan and Ms Ragland had been at the Ms Foundation For Women’s 50th anniversary gala event.

It was Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance together since the duchess’s absence from the King’s coronation earlier this month.

Of the incident, Chris Sanchez, a member of the couple’s security team, told CNN: “The public were in jeopardy at several points. It could have been fatal.”

But photographers told celebrity news agency Backgrid USA there were no near-collisions or near-crashes during the incident.

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