Prince Andrew Duke of York and ‘suspected’ peers ‘could be stripped of their titles’

The Duke of York and peers could be stripped of their titles under a proposed law introduced in Parliament.

There is no mechanism in place to remove such a title, but there are growing calls for action against Andrew because he paid millions to settle a US civil sexual assault case with his accuser Virginia Giuffre. .

York Central Labor MP Rachel Muskell is trying to bridge the law gap with her Removal of Titles Bill.

Its purpose is to give the monarch new powers to remove titles or a committee of parliament can determine whether a title should be removed.

Ms Muskell told the PA news agency that her constituents have made it clear to her that they want the Duke of York title removed, specifically recognizing York as a human rights city.

He argued that there is already a “culture conflict” when it comes to negotiations to tackle violence against women and girls in the city.

Ms Muskell stressed that the proposed law could also have “widespread implications” for individuals such as Russian-born businessman Lord Lebedev, who was awarded a peerage in 2020, as he could also be stripped of his title .

He said there is a “definite interest” in the Commons and even the Lords to set up a mechanism that “will deal with the issue of those who have not lived up to the expectations of the public”.

Ms Muskell said: “Back in February, when our focus was on the court case that was being brought against Andrew, my constituents responded that 80 per cent of the people wanted the break with the current Duke of York. and So, I met with the clerks here in the Commons to see how that could be achieved.”

He continued: “There is no mechanism, even for monarch, to remove this title. The only real way this can be done is that Andrew no longer calls himself Duke of York, of his own choice. .

“The problem is, especially with an international city like York, that using a title like Duke of York is an ambassadorial role, it names our city around the world.

“And this is a city, a human rights city, the only human rights city in England. We are already in a culture conflict when we are talking about violence against women and girls and issues that we really Working hard in the city, about to make York a much safer place.

She continued: “If this theory can be established, clearly it can have wide-ranging implications.”

Ms Muskell highlighted the case of disgraced colleague Lord Nazir Ahmed, saying: “Therefore, this could have broad implications for how the law can be used to remove the titles of those who do not live up to public expectations.” have landed.”

Lord Ahmed was convicted earlier this year of raping a girl twice in the early 1970s and sexually assaulting a boy under the age of 11.

In January, Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley, launched a petition in the wake of the verdict, calling for Lord Ahmed to be stripped of his title.

The presentation to Parliament of Ms Maskel’s bill, which is due to receive its second reading on 9 December, comes shortly after York Council decided to strip Andrew of the city’s independence.

Andrew had already given up several patronages in both the city and county in 2019, after stepping down from royal duties due to his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In her lawsuit, Ms Giuffre accused Andrew of sexual abuse, saying the Duke had sex with her when she was 17 and was trafficked by her friend, the late Mr Epstein.

Although the parties settled the matter in February, the out-of-court settlement was not an admission of guilt on the part of Duke, who has always vehemently denied the charges against him.