A FORMER MP has criticised a mayor for her comments about the royal family.

The mayor of Brighton and Hove, Alexandra Phillips, had questioned whether the monarchy should remain after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex resigned as senior royals last week.

The Green Party councillor said: “Given this, and the Prince Andrew revelations, maybe it’s time to move away from the monarchy?

“Is this a sign that enough is enough?”

But Sir Andrew Bowden, who was Conservative MP for Kemptown for 27 years, has said her comments were “ill-considered”.

The 89-year-old said: “I was sad and very upset that our mayor recently made some ill-considered comments about the future of the monarchy.

“As a knight of the realm I took an oath of loyalty to uphold and defend the monarchy and the British constitution.

“I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the British people and the people of Brighton and Hove support our system of constitutional monarchy and democratic government.”

Sir Andrew said the alternative to a monarchy would be to have an elected president as head of state.

He said that could be a former prime minister.

He said: “An elected president would almost certainly be a former prominent politician, such as Tony Blair, David Cameron, Theresa May, Gordon Brown or George Osborne.

“The Queen and senior members of the royal family are a huge asset to the nation and our standing in the world.

“In financial terms the monarchy pays for itself many times over both directly and indirectly.

“Prime ministers and governments come and go.

“Our monarchy is and has for centuries been a stabilising and unifying force in our nation.

“Long live the Queen.”

Sir Andrew represented the Brighton Kemptown constituency between 1970 and 1997, and was knighted in 1994.

He was disappointed to read about the decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to take a step back.

He said: “I’m sad about it but I don’t believe you can have half do a job like that.

“You are either in or out.

“It’s terribly difficult, especially for her. I don’t think maybe she fully appreciated what it was going to be like.”