Duke of York to cut ties with Epstein

The Duke of York is to cut his ties with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein following ongoing controversy about their friendship.

Prince Andrew has known American financier Epstein since the early 1990s, and met him as recently as December in New York.



Epstein, 58, was accused of sex offences by a number of under-age girls and sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.



Andrew and Epstein were recently pictured walking together in New York's Central park.



Buckingham Palace would not comment on the matter today but a royal source said: "It would be fair to say that you are not going to see photos of the Duke of York with Jeffrey Epstein again."



Last week a picture emerged of the Duke with a woman at the centre of under-age sex allegations concerning Epstein.



Andrew was photographed with Virginia Roberts, who claims Epstein employed her as a masseuse but exploited her while a teenage minor.



There is no suggestion that the Duke was involved with the alleged victim but he has been strongly criticised by Republic, the anti-monarchy group, for a lack of judgment.



Republic have called for Andrew to be stripped of his role as the UK's trade envoy as a result.



The Duke has been the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001, travelling around the world and at home promoting Britain's business interests.



His Private Secretary, Alastair Watson, writing in a letter published in the Times newspaper today said: "There has been widespread comment on the Duke's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.



"The Duke has known Mr Epstein since being introduced to him in the early 1990s.



"The insinuations and innuendos that have been made in relation to the Duke are without foundation."



Mr Watson also confirmed that as part of his trade role Andrew had met Colonel Gaddafi's son - Saif, in Libya on two occasions in 2007.



Saif Gaddafi was "not a friend" of the Duke's, Mr Watson added.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor