Campaigners have backed Labour MP Kate Osamor's claims that Prince Charles should not head the Commonwealth.


The MP said this week that Charles is not regarded as 'level headed' or 'someone people respect'.


Graham Smith of campaign group Republic said today:


"Osamor is absolutely right, and I think everyone knows it.  There are so many exceptional people that could take on the job of heading the Commonwealth, who could make a real difference.  Charles is not one of them."


"The Commonwealth is a league of many different nations, why should we assume the head of the organisation has to be a British royal?  This may just be a largely ceremonial post, but image and leadership in this role are still important."


"Charles is a controversial figure with controversial views, he represents a tiny elite within a single country - yet he seems to assume it is his right to take over the Commonwealth role without ever having to earn it."


"Surely the post should go to someone who represents the best of the Commonwealth, who has the independence and intelligence to speak on issues that affect people's lives, without straying into controversy and causing diplomatic rows.  And someone who can be accountable for how they perform the role."


"The Commonwealth is a difficult organisation to support, many of the member states have appalling human rights records and many lack any basic democratic standards.  Some real leadership that reflects the stated values of the Commonwealth may actually make a real difference."


"The Commonwealth claims to promote democracy, rule of law and human rights, the royals are among the last people who can champion those causes."