York councillors move to strip Duke's freedom of the city

Duke of York on feb 15 PA
The Duke of York Credit: PA

Councillors in York have said they are taking steps to remove the Duke of York's freedom of the city.

The Liberal Democrats, who form the largest group on City of York Council, said a motion to begin the process of removing the honour will be submitted at the next full council meeting on 24 March.

The motion will also call for the prince to relinquish his title as Duke of York in the wake of the settlement of his legal battle with Virginia Giuffre.

Prince Andrew had faced widespread calls for him to give up the dukedom, which is one of his last remaining major titles after the Queen stripped him of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style.

Labour MP Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, has repeatedly said Andrew should give up his association with the city out of respect.

Prince Andrew was given the Honorary Freedom of the City of York in 1987 Credit: PA

Darryl Smalley, City of York Council's executive member for culture, leisure and communities said: "York's unique connection to the Crown and the monarch is an important part of our city's legacy and history.

"I hope councillors across all parties will support the motion to remove Prince Andrew's Honorary Freedom of the City of York."

The councillor added: "Buckingham Palace and the Government must then act to remove his Duke of York title."

The Queen's second son "regrets his association" with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a letter submitted to the United States District Court stated.

Andrew has agreed to make a "substantial donation" to Ms Giuffre's charity after the pair agreed an undisclosed out-of-court settlement in her civil sex claim against him.

No detail has been disclosed with regard to the settlement and costs, but it has been reported he has agreed to pay an eight-figure sum.