Andrew must withdraw his duke title out of respect for people in York – MP

Labour’s Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, has said Andrew must remove his association with the city.

15 February 2022

The Duke of York must withdraw his title to show “respect” for people living in York, an MP for the city has said.

Labour’s Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, has said Andrew must remove his association with the city in light of the settlement in his civil sex case brought by Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Maskell welcomed Andrew’s pledge to donate money to Ms Giuffre’s charity which supports of victims’ rights, but said his relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein has caused “deep hurt and embarrassment” to York residents.

Labour Party conference 2016
Labour MP for York Central, Rachael Maskell, has called for Andrew to withdraw his ducal title out of ‘respect’ for people living in the city (Danny Lawson/PA) 

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.

“It is to be welcomed that he has now pledged to support the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and it’s 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.”

Quoting a poll from York’s daily newspaper The Press, Ms Maskell highlighted how 88% of people in the city wanted Andrew’s association with it to be removed, but said there is “currently no legal route by which this can be achieved”.

Ms Maskell, who has previously requested a debate into how aristocratic titles which take their name from a geographical locations are assigned, called for Parliament to pass legislation which would enable people to vote for the withdrawal of Andrew’s title.

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.

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