MPs have little faith in Princess of Wales

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The Independent Online
The Princess of Wales's hopes of becoming an "ambassador" for the country have been rebuffed by a survey which shows three quarters of Conservative MPs think she is not fit for the role, writes John Rentoul. Tory MPs are more hostile than Labour MPs towards Diana's ambition to be "an ambassador for this country", revealed in last year's Panorama interview.

Of 68 Tory MPs polled by Harris, 74 per cent disagreed with the statement: "The Princess of Wales is fit to hold an ambassadorial role." Of the 73 Labour MPs, 53 per cent thought she was not fit for the role.

The results were announced as the Princess cut short a holiday to Spain. It is thought she may have returned early because she received too much media attention locally.

The evidence of a backlash against Diana is damning because the survey was carried just before her televised visit, inmake-up and with carefully arranged hair, to watch a child's heart operation, which was condemned as a tasteless publicity stunt. One Tory MP said: "That was the straw that broke many camels' backs. She's blown it."

The Harris survey, for next week's Parliamentary Monitor, also confirms the finding of anIndependent on Sunday survey that most Labour MPs want to abolish the monarchy. Of the Labour MPs, just over half (37), agreed that the UK should become a republic, while fewer than one third (21) disagreed.

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