Students at Huddersfield University have launched a campaign for Prince Andrew to resign as chancellor following the fallout from his disastrous BBC interview.
The student union voted last night to campaign for the Duke of York to stand down as the ceremonial head of the university in the West Yorkshire town.
A motion was put forward by student Tristan Smith, with others backing the suggestion move on social media with the hashtag #NotMyChancellor.
The Duke of York speaks at his installation as chancellor of Huddersfield University in July 2015
The English literature student told the Independent: ‘I don’t think this man should be a chancellor and a role model. I want to be proud to go here.
‘A lot of people agree with me and I had a staff member say to me that they were really pleased that I had put it forward. I don’t think his actions represent us.’
The motion was put forward before Andrew’s interview on the BBC’s Newsnight on Saturday over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Emmanuel Haruna, president of Huddersfield Student Union, said it was ‘already scheduled to go to a termly student jury’ before the programme was aired.
The student union confirmed shortly before 7pm yesterday that the motion had been passed, and they are expected to release a full statement about it today.
The Duke of York speaks in an interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, broadcast on Saturday
The move comes as the Duke of York was dealt a major blow after a sponsor of his flagship business project said it was not renewing support.
Andrew is facing the embarrassing prospect of charities and institutions he is associated with distancing themselves, as lawyers for the convicted sex offender’s victims urged him to tell US authorities what he knows.
The duke was caught up in further controversy when a newspaper columnist claimed Andrew used a racially-offensive word during a Buckingham Palace meeting in 2012.
The Queen and other senior royals are said to ‘back and believe’ Andrew’s defence of himself in the BBC interview ‘100 per cent’, sources told the Evening Standard.
One 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.
Andrew walks among students at Huddersfield University in a graduation ceremony in 2015
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.’
Where is Prince Andrew now left legally?
Police interview for Andrew?
Scotland Yard has ruled out any inquiry in the UK, but the FBI and the French authorities are conducting investigations.
It is possible for the FBI or French police to issue a ‘letter of request’ direct to Scotland Yard for assistance in taking a statement from the royal.
They could request that an interview takes place with either British detectives or French or American investigators if they travelled to the UK to meet him.
The FBI could also issue a request for mutual legal assistance via the Home Office. But any statement or interview would only be voluntary and it is not possible to force a potential suspect or witness to co-operate without a warrant for their arrest. Andrew cannot be subpoenaed to give testimony because he lives outside the jurisdiction of US courts.
Immunity from prosecution?
Last night Buckingham Palace confirmed the Duke of York is not immune from prosecution. The Queen has sovereign immunity from civil or criminal prosecutions, but this does not extend to all members of the Royal Family.
Anna Rothwell, of law firm Corker Binning, said yesterday those connected to Epstein were ‘vulnerable to extradition’ due to the ongoing FBI investigation.
Is extradition possible?
The FBI would first consider if there is enough evidence to charge him with an offence. A formal extradition request would be made. The Home Secretary would have to decide whether to certify the request before it would be sent to Westminster Magistrates Court to consider.
A judge would need to be satisfied that his conduct amounts to an extraditable offence by considering whether there was evidence of guilt and if extradition would breach human rights.
An order would still need to be signed off by the Home Secretary. Yesterday lawyers claimed an extradition request to the US would be hard to resist. Due to the European agreements we currently have in place, extradition to France would be a more straightforward process.
By REBECCA CAMBER, DAILY MAIL
The fall-out from Andrew’s Newsnight appearance has already begun, with the Outward Bound Trust, which the duke supports as patron, saying it will hold a board meeting in the next few days when members will discuss issues raised by Saturday’s interview.
KPMG’s sponsorship contract with Andrew’s Pitch@Palace, a mentoring scheme for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs, expired at the end of October and will not be renewed, a source told the PA news agency.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: ‘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.’
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca told the Daily Telegraph it is also 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.’
Aon was listed as the initiative’s sole ‘global partner’ but sources insisted the company was not associated with Pitch@Palace and the listing was an error.
Andrew’s appearance on Newsnight to explain his friendship with the convicted sex offender and deny allegations of having sex with an under-age teenager has been widely condemned, but the duke is said to being standing by his decision to put his side of the story.
US lawyer Spencer Kuvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Andrew should come forward to help the ongoing investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked if he would encourage Andrew to co-operate with US authorities about his knowledge of the disgraced financier’s activities but he brushed the question off, during an election campaign event at the CBI annual conference, saying ‘nice try there’.
It also emerged yesterday that Virginia Giuffre has given an interview to BBC’s Panorama.
It is understood that 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 spokesman for the BBC said: ‘We never comment on investigations.’
The duke’s interview on Saturday has been widely criticised, with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic 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 that 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, was factually wrong as Andrew said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.