'I call him plain Andrew': York MP calls for Duke of York to drop city's name from title

16 February 2022, 14:30 | Updated: 16 February 2022, 14:42

By Asher McShane

Prince Andrew was referred to as 'Plain Andrew' on LBC today as an MP called for him to withdraw his title to show 'respect' for the people of York.

Labour's Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, has called on the royal to remove his association with the city.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty on LBC today, Ms Maskell said: “We’ve got somebody who has got an association with my city of York.

“Eighty-eight per cent of people who were polled from our city said they did not want that association any more.

“He’s got an ambassadorial role that comes with that title and York needless to say is global city. Eight million people visit the city in normal times

“Therefore it’s really important that the values of our city are what people relate to York.

“Clearly Andrew, and I just say plain Andrew, had associations with people who were exploiting young women.

“That association in itself calls into question all sorts of things.”

Read more: Virginia Giuffre 'silenced until after the Jubilee' in Andrew's £12m sex case settlement

Read more: Mother admits killing her two children aged 10 and 4 in drink-drive motorway crash

Ms Maskell has said Andrew must remove his association with the city in light of the settlement in his civil sex case brought by Virginia Giuffre.

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 Giuffre 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.

"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."

According to the Times, Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Giuffre has been silenced over the allegations until after the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

It is believed she has agreed to the ‘period of silence’ under the terms of her out-of-court settlement with the Duke of York, according to The Times.

The settlement, which is reported to be more than £12 million and was agreed between lawyers in New York after a sensational development on Tuesday, is set to be paid for in part by the Queen.

Experts have said the full amount should be made public and so should the source of the funds.

No details have been confirmed with regard to the settlement made to Virginia Giuffre or the costs, but there has been speculation that Andrew has agreed to pay an eight-figure sum.

Last month, Buckingham Palace announced that the duke would be defending the case "as a private citizen", but a number of commentators have claimed that would not stop him having been helped along with money from the Queen's private wealth.

Andrew receives a Royal Navy pension and the Queen is also thought to fund her son from her £21.7-million-a-year Duchy of Lancaster income, but the figure she gives him is kept private.

There had been reports Andrew had been trying to sell a chalet in the Swiss resort of Verbier which he bought for a reported £13 million in 2014 with his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.

One royal expert said it is likely "we will never know what contribution came from the Queen to the Duke of York to help with all that (legal costs and the settlement)."

Joe Little, of Majesty magazine, said: "I think if we are clear that it is coming from a private source, albeit the Queen, then it's no burden to the taxpayer. I think perhaps that needs to be underlined.

"The figures are pretty transparent nowadays. The Queen has a private income which she uses to support various members of her family so if that's the case then so be it.

"Who else is going to support him other than the Queen?"

He added: "There's no reason for the Queen not to help him out financially as mother, rather than head of state."

Media lawyer Mark Stephens speculated that the total costs of legal fees, the settlement and the charitable donation could be somewhere around 10 million dollars.

"Multimillion dollar awards are not uncommon in MeToo kind of cases."

He said: "Essentially the question is what is his net worth? What I'm doing is putting together the fact that he sold, at an undervalue, because he had to do it quickly, his chalet, we know that he netted about 10 million from it, maybe a little more."

Reputation and privacy lawyer Alex McCready said settlement figures in the US "tend to dwarf" those in the UK, and while it is difficult to predict the amount in this case it is likely to be "extremely substantial".

She said: "I think many people will be questioning how Prince Andrew is going to be able to afford what is likely to be an extremely substantial settlement."