Julian Knight, 49, has taken to social media to voice his frustration with anti-monarchy activists after a billboard lamenting the Duke of Cambridge, 39, was erected in his constituency of Solihull. The billboard, which called Prince William a “climate change hypocrite”, included a tick box list of helicopter flights, private jets, multiple huge homes and a personal train.
The display, which was put up in Shirley by campaigners from Republic, also included the hashtag #EndTheMonarchy and #COP26 underneath.
It comes after Prince William joined delegates at the UN’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.
Speaking in Scotland’s largest city, the Duke of Cambridge stressed the need to “think differently” in the world’s bid to tackle climate change.
But Mr Knight, who was first elected to the Commons as the MP for Solihull in 2015, described the billboard as a “disgusting attack on the Royal Family” and said he has contacted the company which owns the advertising space to resolve the issue.
Writing on Facebook, the Chair of the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said: “I am appalled that JC Decaux have decided to allow this poster on their billboard in Shirley.”
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He added: “I have written to JC Decaux and asked for it to be removed immediately.
“This is a disgusting attack on the Royal Family, just a few months before the start of the Platinum Jubilee.”
Speaking to BirminghamLive, the Remainer-turned-Brexiteer added: “In the year when we saw the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh and on the cusp of marking the jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, who has shown tireless service to this country, I personally think these anti-monarchs should find a better way of expressing themselves rather than this grubby attack poster in Solihull.
“The fact is that Silhillians are very respectful and thoughtful of Her Majesty the Queen – there’s been a long relationship with Her Majesty and our great town and I can imagine they’ll have utterly no sympathy whatsoever for these individuals who are trying to force their rather strange views attacking a really lovely man.
“A lot of angry residents have contacted us about this, saying how upset they are that this is being pushed down their throats in this way.
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“It’s perfectly fair for them to express their views – write a letter to a newspaper or post in an online forum – but why should people in Solihull have to walk past this attack poster day in, day out?”
According to the local news outlet, Republic responded to Mr Knight’s comments by saying: “I’d add that Julian Knight has recently complained about the GB News advertising boycott, calling it ‘cancel culture’. It appears he doesn’t mind cancel culture when it’s something he disagrees with.”
The Solihull MP, who recently called for the BBC to consider hiring a Brexiteer to replace Laura Kuenssberg as the broadcaster’s political editor, received a mixed batch of responses to his post on Facebook.
Cheryl Gallant replied: “I live locally, and don’t agree with this advert.
“With any luck, it will go the same way as all the other adverts at this site.
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“Usually only lasts a few days before the mechanism fails.”
But Chris Garghan had a slightly different view.
“This is the real ‘Freedom of speech’ – the freedom to challenge the leaders, especially the unelected ones, of this country,” he said.
Mr Garghan added: “It’s appalling that you’ve written this post. This is a disgusting attack on the rights of the citizens of this country to criticise the hypocrisy of the royals.”