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Prince Andrew loses Freedom of City honour

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Prince Andrew has been stripped of the honour credit:Bang Showbiz
Prince Andrew has been stripped of the honour credit:Bang Showbiz

Prince Andrew has been stripped of his Freedom of the City of York honour.

The 62-year-old royal has had the accolade taken away from him following a vote by councillors in the wake of his out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre.

Rachael Maskell, the Labour MP for York Central, noted that Andrew is the first person to "ever have their freedom removed" by the city.

Darryl Smalley, the executive member for culture, leisure and communities at the City of York Council, was pleased with the outcome of the vote, saying it was "no longer appropriate for Prince Andrew to represent York".

He said: "Having been stripped of his military roles and royal patronages by the Queen, we believe that it is right to remove all links that Prince Andrew still has with our great city.

"I was pleased to see councillors of all parties support this motion and make it clear that it is no longer appropriate for Prince Andrew to represent York and its residents."

Independent councillor Mark Warters also welcomed the decision, although he described it as a "purely symbolic act".

He added: "It must be stated, though, that Prince Andrew has not been convicted of any offence in a criminal or civil court."

Andrew was awarded the accolade in 1987 and other recipients include the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Dame Judi Dench.

Buckingham Palace has so far declined to comment on the decision.

Earlier this year, Andrew paid an undisclosed sum to Giuffre after she launched legal action against him in the US. Giuffre - who was formerly known as Virginia Roberts - had accused convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein - who took his own life in August 2019 - and his one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell of arranging and forcing her into having sex with Andrew.

However, Andrew has always denied the allegations.

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