Huddersfield and London Met universities reviewing Prince Andrew's role following interview

The University of Huddersfield has passed a motion to lobby the duke to resign as its chancellor, as London Metropolitan University considers the duke's role as its patron.

Both universities are considering their links to Prince Andrew following his interview over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of sex abuse.

The Huddersfield University motion said: "We as students at the University of Huddersfield and members of Huddersfield Students' Union should not be represented by a man with ties to organised child sexual exploitation and assault."

It said they needed to put "survivors of sexual assault above royal connections."

Charities and universities are reviewing whether to sever their ties with the duke. Credit: PA

Multi-million Standard Chartered has joined KPMG in cutting ties with Prince Andrew and is not renewing its sponsorship of the duke's Pitch@Palace scheme.

It comes a day after accountancy giant KPMG said it would not be renewing its sponsorship contract for Pitch@Palace - a mentoring scheme for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.

While AstraZeneca said it would be reviewing its future with the scheme.

A Standard Chartered spokesperson said: "I can confirm we will not be renewing our sponsorship of Pitch@Palace when it expires at the end of the year."

Huddersfield University confirmed on Tuesday it will be consulting on whether Prince Andrew should remain as Chancellor after the Students' Union voted on Tuesday to campaign for the Royal to step down - with several students using #notmychancellor on social media.

The Duke has come under increased scrutiny following Saturday's BBC interview regarding his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew was caught up in further controversy when a newspaper columnist claimed Andrew used a racially-offensive word during a Buckingham Palace meeting in 2012, something the royal denies.

It is thought charities and other organisations connected to the prince could distance themselves from him.

Prince Andrew speaking to Patrick Stewart at a university event. Credit: PA

Huddersfield University said following Monday's debate: “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.”

While London Met 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 26th November.

"The University opposes all forms of discrimination, abuse, human trafficking and any activity that is contrary to the University’s values."

Pitch@Palace's contract with KPMG will not be renewed. Credit: PA

Separately, educational charity Outward Bound has confirmed it will hold a Board meeting this week "to discuss the Duke of York’s patronage".

The Prince was handed the role from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh in March this year, who had been Patron since 1953.

They added that "this is a matter for the Trustees" and the Prince's daughter, Princess Beatrice, who is on the Board, will be asked to sit out of the meeting.

On Monday, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace confirmed that while "KPMG's contract with Pitch@Palace ended at the end of October, a full programme of Pitch@Palace events is continuing across the United Kingdom."

Meanwhile pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said it is reviewing its future with the mentoring scheme: "Our three-year partnership with Pitch@Palace is due to expire at the end of this year and is currently being reviewed."

Also on Monday, an alleged Epstein victim gave an emotional account of her ordeal as she launched a civil lawsuit against the sex offender's estate and made a direct appeal to the Duke after her lawyer, Gloria Allred, called on him to make a statement.

The 31-year-old - known only as Jane Doe 15 - said: "I would also like to say I agree with Gloria that Prince Andrew, and any others that are close to Epstein, should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have."

It also emerged on Monday that Virginia Giuffre has given an interview to BBC's Panorama.

The Press Association news agency said it understands the 35-year-old reiterated her claims that she slept with Andrew when she was just 17 after being trafficked by Epstein.

The interview, which was filmed three weeks ago, is due to be broadcast in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: "We never comment on investigations."

  • When questioned about Prince Andrew on Monday, Prince Edward did not comment

The Duke's interview on Saturday has been widely criticised, with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his tone and seeming lack of remorse over the friendship with Epstein, who killed himself in jail while facing sex trafficking charges.

The Evening Standard published on its front page the claim made by its columnist Rohan Silva that, while a Downing Street aide specialising in the tech economy, the duke made a racist remark.

He told the newspaper that, when he asked Andrew if the government department responsible for trade "could be doing a better job", the duke replied: "Well, if you'll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile."

Sources have categorically denied Andrew used the word.

During the interview, the Duke, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated that his relationship with Epstein had some "seriously beneficial outcomes", giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.

Andrew denied that he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was under age, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the Duke sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, Andrew said was wrong as he said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.