The Duke of York must withdraw his title to show “respect” for people living in York in light of the settlement of his civil sex case, Rachael Maskell has said.
Following news of a settlement between Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre, Labour’s MP for York Central said he has caused “deep hurt and embarrassment” to residents of the city.
She said: “Although it is a relief that Prince Andrew has finally acknowledged and expressed regret for his close association with a convicted sex offender and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, his long delay in doing so and initial response to the charges and Ms Guiffre have been source of deep hurt and embarrassment to many people across the city.
“Carrying a title does create an ambassadorial relationship with that place, and for somewhere with a global reputation, such as York, this is extremely important.
“It is to be welcomed that he has now pledged to support the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and its victims.
“To demonstrate his seriousness in this endeavour, and his respect for those affected by abuse and the people of our city, I would ask that his first act of contrition is to confirm his support for the withdrawal of his ducal title.”
Cllr Darryl Smalley, Liberal Democrat executive member for culture, leisure & communities at City of York Council, agreed.
He said: “Following the news that Prince Andrew has reached a financial settlement in the sexual abuse lawsuit brought against him, we are reiterating our calls for his title as the Duke of York to be removed.
“Having been stripped of his military roles and royal patronages by the Queen, this should be the end of his direct link with our great city.
“York’s unique connection to the Crown and the monarch is an important part of our city’s legacy, history and a great source of pride.
“Buckingham Palace and the Government must consider the implications of the troubling allegations moving forward. We will be reaching out to MPs to raise our concerns and discuss any possible ways of ending Prince Andrew’s connection to York.”
Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.