BBC re­ceives com­plaint from Royal House­hold af­ter spreading neo-nazi im­age of Duke

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Hannah Fur­ness ROYAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

THE BBC has been ac­cused of com­pro­mis­ing the safety of the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex af­ter it shared neonazi pro­pa­ganda call­ing for the death of “race traitors”.

An im­age, fea­tur­ing the Duke and pub­lished un­cen­sored in an on­line news story, has now been taken down from the BBC web­site af­ter a di­rect com­plaint from the Royal House­hold.

Prince Wil­liam and Prince Harry are both aware of the pic­ture and un­der­stood to be very con­cerned about its con­tent, with aides deeply wor­ried about the se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tions.

The im­age is a red and black poster show­ing the Duke of Sus­sex with a gun pointed to his head, a swastika, and the words: “See ya later, race traitor.”

It was pub­lished on the BBC News web­site as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a Right-wing un­der­ground group called the Son­nenkrieg Divi­sion head­lined “Bri­tish Neo-nazis sug­gest Prince Harry should be shot”.

Three peo­ple have since been ar­rested, and two men, aged 17 and 18, were yesterday charged with ter­ror­ism of­fences. The im­age has now been shared widely around the world, re­pro­duced on web­sites and in sev­eral tabloid news­pa­pers yesterday.

It was taken down “sev­eral days” later, with the BBC say­ing it had “served its pur­pose in high­light­ing the na­ture of the group”.

A Palace aide con­firmed that the im­age was re­moved fol­low­ing com­plaints from the Royal House­hold amid “very real con­cerns about the se­cu­rity im­pact of the de­ci­sion to pub­lish”.

There will now be “on­go­ing con­ver­sa­tions to clar­ify what hap­pened,” he said. Staff are now con­sult­ing with so­cial me­dia com­pa­nies to find and re­move the im­age to stop it from spreading fur­ther.

“This is pro­pa­ganda that was de­signed to spread on­line,” a source said, point­ing out that other ex­trem­ist ma­te­rial, in­clud­ing that pro­duced by Isil, would not be pub­lished on a main­stream news web­site.

It comes less than a month af­ter the Duke of Cam­bridge chose the BBC as the venue for a land­mark speech warn­ing that in­ter­net plat­forms were be­ing used to spread “mis­in­for­ma­tion and con­spir­acy to pol­lute the pub­lic sphere” and “nor­malise speech that is filled with bile and hate”.

A spokes­woman for BBC News said: “This im­age was used in a re­port of a long-run­ning BBC in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a group of Bri­tish neo-nazis.

“We used the im­age af­ter care­ful edi­to­rial con­sid­er­a­tion, and added an on­line warn­ing to au­di­ences given the sen­si­tiv­i­ties around the story.”

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