Welfare protest calling for the Queen to pay bedroom tax is a ‘silly stunt’ says MP

The Norwich Gates, at Sandringham, where protestors will call for the Queen to pay bedroom tax.

The Norwich Gates, at Sandringham, where protestors will call for the Queen to pay bedroom tax. - Credit: IAN BURT

A campaign group's bid to protest outside the Queen's Sandringham estate in a call for her to pay Bedroom Tax has been dubbed a 'silly stunt' by the area's MP.

Henry Bellingham said he agreed with many of King's Lynn Against Welfare Reform's (KLAWR) arguments over the issue but that their actions would only 'distract from the good points they have already made'.

Members of KLAWR, King's Lynn and District Trades Council and other supporters plan to travel to the Queen's Norfolk country retreat on May 25 in response to government plans to cut the benefits of people with spare bedrooms.

Jo Rust, secretary of King's Lynn and District Trades Council, said it was a 'huge injustice' that the monarch got £36.1m per year to run her royal palaces and yet was not subject to the same demands.

'She has lots and lots of empty bedrooms,' said Mrs Rust, who is organising the event. 'Why is she not being taxed in the same way as others who receive state money?'

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A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said it would not be commenting on the protest because the tax was a government policy that did not apply to the royal household.

Mr Bellingham, who represents North West Norfolk, agreed, adding: 'The Crown Estate brings in far more than it costs. Plus, the Queen doesn't receive housing benefit.'

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A spokesman for Norfolk police said although the force had not been notified of the demonstration, it would help to facilitate a peaceful protest. 'We would urge the organisers to get in touch so that any protest can take place legally and safely,' the spokesman said.

'There is a legal right to protest and assemble in this country, so police will act to facilitate peaceful demonstrations. Restrictions would only apply in the interests of national security, public safety for the prevention of crime and disorder.'

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