In Brief

Business and charities turn backs on Prince Andrew

Royal left ‘out in the cold’ as television interview backfires

Business and charities are turning their backs on Prince Andrew following his widely derided BBC interview, in which he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

It was announced yesterday that KPMG has not renewed its sponsorship of the Duke of York's entrepreneurship initiative, Pitch @ Palace. It is believed that the accountancy giant made the decision at the end of October.

Another Pitch @ Palace partner, AstraZeneca, is reviewing its involvement in the scheme, The Guardian says. A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical firm said: “Our three-year partnership with Pitch @ Palace is due to expire at the end of this year and is currently being reviewed.”

The insurance company Aon says it has asked for its logo to be removed from the initiative’s website, where the firm was described as a global partner. According to the Daily Mail, these moves leave Andrew “out in the cold”.

In another blow for the prince, the University of Huddersfield students passed a motion on Monday evening calling on him to resign as the university's chancellor.

The Outward Bound Trust charity said it would hold a special board meeting over the next few days for members to discuss “the issues raised” by the interview. It is believed the charity will axe the prince as a patron.

Power2, a charity which works on equipping people aged 13 to 21 with life skills and which lists Prince Andrew as a patron, left the door open for a change, saying: “Our position is unchanged for the present: we will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Meanwhile, a woman who says that Epstein committed a “vicious, prolonged sexual assault” against her when she was 15 has called on Prince Andrew to come forward with information.

Claiming that Epstein had tried to lure her to his private island by saying Andrew was there, the new accuser, who identifies herself as “Jane Doe 15”, added: “Prince Andrew, and any others that are close to Epstein, should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have.”

As the furore over the BBC interview continues, Spencer Kuvin, representing alleged US sex slaves, told The Sun: “Royalty has failed the victims. There was a sense of astonishment from them about the interview.”

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