Black charity boss blasts Palace over race row apology
...as she steps back from activist role
BUCKINGHAM Palace was plunged back into a race row yesterday after a black charity campaigner demanded to know why it was ‘so hard to say sorry’.
Ngozi Fulani reignited the damaging incident by claiming the royals had never apologised to her properly after she was offended by courtier Lady Susan Hussey repeatedly asking her ‘where are you really from?’
Ms Fulani said she was stepping aside as boss of her charity Sistah Space – blaming the Palace for not protecting her from ‘threats’. Her comments caught royal officials by surprise because they thought the matter had been dealt with after she accepted a ‘sincere apology’ from Lady Susan after the incident at a reception in November.
But Ms Fulani hit out during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, claiming that while the Queen’s long-serving lady-in-waiting had said sorry, the Palace had done so only after it was made aware of her intention to go on GMB.
She said: ‘I don’t see why it is so hard to say “I’m sorry”. You [the Palace] sent me the invitation [to the reception], so you know how to find me. You know how to say sorry. If you’re sorry, then say sorry.’ Presenter Richard Madeley read out a ‘new’ statement from the Palace: ‘For the avoidance of any doubt, we are sorry for the incident that took place and apologise for the distress and difficulty it caused to Ms Fulani.’
Ms Fulani seemed to suggest it was the first time there had been an apology from the Palace and questioned why it was given to the media first.
Palace insiders said they had not made a new statement, but had supplied a response to ITV to serve as a ‘right of reply’ to Ms Fulani’s assertions. It was claimed that apologies on behalf of the Palace had been shared with Ms Fulani and her representatives last year.
Ms Fulani announced she was temporarily stepping down as boss of Sistah Space, which helps women affected by abuse, citing abuse by trolls and saying ‘violence’ had been directed towards her since the incident. It is understood Palace staff are adamant Ms Fulani was offered assistance with security concerns.