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Prince Andrew urged to co-operate with US investigators after 'Queen strips him of royal duties'

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Prince Andrew has been urged to cooperate with US authorities after the Queen stripped him of his duties and his reported £250k salary.

Following the disastrous Newsnight interview over the Duke of York’s links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the Monarch is said to have summoned her son to Buckingham Palace to tell him to step down from royal duties.

Prince Andrew, who will lose his £249,000 annual income from the Sovereign Grant as a result of stepping down from his duties, is now being pressured into cooperating with authorities in the US investigating the Epstein scandal.

Prince Andrew has been urged to cooperate with US investigators (PA)

Co-operation

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing some of Epstein's victims, tweeted: "Prince Andrew was simply not credible in his interview.

"He and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents. We are just getting started.”

Ms Bloom's mother and fellow lawyer Gloria Allred, who also represents victims of the US financier, said Andrew's position on assisting the authorities was not clear.

She told the BBC: "Is he insisting that he be served with a subpoena to testify, or is he willing to speak to law enforcement without being legally required to do so?

"My clients who are victims of Jeffrey Epstein have spoken to law enforcement without being 'required' to do so.”

She flagged two possible next steps.

One is the criminal justice investigation to see if charges should be filed in reference to anyone who might have knowingly conspired with Epstein to recruit and to sex traffic underage girls to him.

Prince Andrew will lose his £249,000 annual income from the Sovereign Grant as a result of stepping down from his duties (BBC News)

The other option was the pursuit of civil lawsuits, like that which she filed on behalf of a woman known as Jane Doe 15, who says she was assaulted by Epstein when she was aged 15.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner supported calls for Prince Andrew to cooperate.

She said: "Prince Andrew should do everything he can... and if he has information that could help with that, he should do that."

The Duke of York announced his decision to step down from royal duties on Wednesday night (Twitter)

Unprecedented move

Andrew met with the Queen on Wednesday, visiting her at Buckingham Palace before his decision to step down was announced.

He announced he would step down from public duties for the "foreseeable future", in an unprecedented move for a royal in modern times.

He said in a statement released on Wednesday evening that he was "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required".

Last night, a friend of Andrew’s told The Sun: “The Queen summoned the duke to Buckingham Palace to tell him her decision. It was a devastating moment for both of them. His reputation is in tatters. It is unlikely he will ever perform royal duties again. He is disgraced.”

Prince Andrew's Newsnight interview was a PR disaster (BBC News)

Interview fallout

Firms including telecoms giant BT and bank Barclays are among a growing number of high-profile businesses, universities and charities that have distanced themselves from Andrew amid the fall-out from the Newsnight interview.

Andrew was criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein's victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the disgraced financier, who took his own life while in prison earlier this year.

In the Newsnight interview, the duke denied claims he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage.

When asked by the BBC's Emily Maitlis if he regretted the "whole friendship with Epstein", the duke replied: "Now, still not and the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful."

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