DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Payout seals downfall of arrogant Prince

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Payout seals downfall of arrogant Prince

By settling a lawsuit in which it was claimed he raped a 17-year-old trafficked girl, Prince Andrew has not just completed his own humiliating downfall – he has brought about a truly shaming day for the entire Royal Family.

Only last month, the Duke of York defiantly told the world he was demanding a trial by jury to clear his name.

Virginia Roberts’ accusations, he angrily insisted, were a pack of lies.

Last month, the Duke of York (pictured in April) defiantly told the world he was demanding a trial by jury to clear his name

Yesterday, he ignominiously agreed to pay her a multi-million-pound sum and make a ‘substantial donation’ to her charity supporting sexual abuse victims.

He has not admitted liability. But in the court of public opinion, after refusing to test his defence under oath, a pay-off may be considered a confession of guilt.

Andrew insists he never intended to malign Miss Roberts. How then does he explain his team spending years trashing this abused woman’s reputation, branding her a manipulative gold-digger?

This vile smear campaign was yet another example of the flawed judgment which saw this supremely arrogant and foolish prince befriend billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, now a convicted sex trafficker.

Ghislaine Maxwell sits as the guilty verdict in her sex abuse trial is read in a courtroom sketch in New York City last December

The reason Andrew – who has gone from war hero to pariah – performed his volte-face will be eagerly speculated.

But perhaps he finally found it in himself to prevent the good name of the monarchy being further soiled by this squalid affair.

The last thing the 95-year-old Queen needed during her Platinum Jubilee year was her son’s most salacious secrets being exposed in a bitter court battle.

Make no mistake, this scandal has already inflicted grave damage on the Royal Family.

Yet with the FBI still potentially pursuing criminal charges, this unedifying affair could still drag on.

The best that can be said of Andrew now is that, while eternally tainted, he has for once done the right thing.

An anti-Tory tax rise

The great untold story of the pandemic is the remarkable resilience and resurrection of the British economy.

When the Prime Minister first locked down the nation, triggering the worst slump in 300 years, the few who predicted a rapid revival were advised to lie down in a dark room.

Yet two years on they have been proven right. In hugely upbeat news, business has shrugged off this crisis and stormed back.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (pictured) admits that ‘no one in the Tory party’ likes the hike

Employment is booming, joblessness has fallen to pre-Covid levels and the forecast avalanche of layoffs has not happened.

The laggardly Eurozone can only dream of such buoyancy. Indeed Germany’s economy, once hailed as a purring Rolls-Royce, is juddering like an old banger.

Our spectacular rebound is a result of the vaccine blitz, lavish business support, Boris Johnson’s laudable decision to reopen England (and, crucially, keep it open as Omicron surged) and the way firms nimbly adapted to ever-changing restrictions.

Wages are rising too, which should be a massive positive. Unfortunately they are being outstripped by inflation, meaning millions are getting poorer.

With petrol, energy and food prices soaring, companies and families want the cost of living to ease. Yet increasing national insurance will worsen their plight.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss admits that ‘no one in the Tory party’ likes the hike.

In that case spike it! A Conservative government should exist to emancipate the hard-working – not punish them. 

One woman was jailed and wrenched from her children. Another considered suicide after being made homeless. With each heartbreaking testimony at the inquiry into the Post Office scandal from subpostmasters wrongly convicted of theft, it grows ever more despicable that bosses who ruined so many lives escape scot-free. 

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