Prince Charles (right) pictured with the Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2003. Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA
- Labour MP Mike Gapes calls for prince to 'abdicate and stand for election' if he wants to make controversial statements
By Matthew Weaver,
Rowena Mason and agencies
21 May 2014
Prince Charles is facing a call for his abdication and a frosty response in Moscow after reportedly comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler over Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Charles blundered into the international crisis over Russia's actions in Ukraine during a tour of Canada, when he spoke to a woman who fled the Nazis and lost family members during the Holocaust.
According to the Daily Mail, the prince compared the Russian president to the Nazi leader when talking to Marienne Ferguson, a museum volunteer who moved to Canada with her Jewish family when she was just 13. "Now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler," Charles is reported to have said.
Charles's remarks have been criticised across the political spectrum in Britain: the Labour MP Mike Gapes called for his abdication, while the outspoken Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, said the prince was wrong to get involved.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, pointedly refused to discuss the issue when approached by journalists. But the popular Russian daily Moskovskij Komsomolets (MK) said Charles's remarks risked "triggering an international scandal".