More businesses have cut ties with Prince Andrew in the continued fall-out from his interview about his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein at the weekend.
Following in the footsteps of KPMG, Standard Chartered, the British banking firm which operates in dozens of countries, has decided not to renew its sponsorship of the Duke’s [email protected] initiative – a Dragon’s Den-style event where entrepreneurs meet investors and mentors to boost their company.
In a brief statement, a spokesman for Standard Chartered said: “We can confirm we are not renewing our sponsorship of [email protected] for commercial reasons once our current agreement terminates in December.”
Sky News understands that British communications firm Inmarsat has also decided it will not renew its sponsorship of the same event.
On Monday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the [email protected] initiative would continue.
The University of Huddersfield is also considering its relationship with Prince Andrew – who acts as its chancellor.
University chancellor is a largely ceremonial title, with the holder taking part mainly in graduation ceremonies and important events.
On Monday evening, the university’s students’ union, which represents the student body, voted to pressure the duke into resigning, with a motion saying that they did not wish to represented by “a man with ties to organised child sexual exploitation and assault”.
In response, a spokesperson for the University of Huddersfield said: “We are aware of the students’ union meeting last night and the motion it passed regarding the chancellor.
“We listen to our students’ views and concerns and we will now be consulting with them over the coming weeks.”
The duke’s role as patron is also being reviewed at London Metropolitan University at a governors meeting later this month – a role he took over from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 2013.
A spokesman for London Metropolitan University said: “We will be reviewing the position of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, as our patron at the next board of governors meeting on Tuesday 26 November.
“The university opposes all forms of discrimination, abuse, human trafficking and any activity that is contrary to the university’s values.”
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Prince Andrew is facing further questions following his interview on BBC Newsnight at the weekend about his relationship with convicted sex offender Epstein.
In the interview, the Queen’s son said that Epstein’s house had been “a convenient place to stay” in 2010 when he went to sever their friendship.
He also denied he had met Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, who claimed she had been trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with a number of his associates, including Prince Andrew, when she was 17.
Epstein, who killed himself in prison in August, was awaiting trial accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex.
He had previously served time in prison in 2008 for prostituting underage girls.
The duke strongly denies any accusations of wrongdoing, but US lawyers for Epstein’s victims are urging Prince Andrew to tell US officials what he knows.
Late on Monday evening, another woman came forward claiming to be one of Epstein’s victims, and encouraged Prince Andrew to speak to US police.
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