Prince Andrew has been forced to step down from his roles at the University of Huddersfield and Outward Bound, in the wake of his interview over his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York has faced mounting pressure since Saturday night’s ‘no holds barred’ interview on BBC’s Newsnight and announced on Wednesday that he was renouncing his royal duties for the ‘foreseeable future’.
In a statement, the university said that Andrew, who was appointed to serve a five-year term as Chancellor in 2015, has ‘decided to step down immediately’.
The Outward Bound Trust, an educational charity helping disadvantaged children through outdoor activities, also announced the Duke would no longer serve as its patron.
It had been a long-standing favourite charity of the Royals’, with Prince Phillip supporting it since 1953 until March this year when Andrew took over.
In a statement, the University of Huddersfield thanked the Duke for his services, despite the university’s student union launching a campaign to remove him from his post earlier this week.
On Monday, a student panel tabled a motion to remove Andrew following his controversial interview, for which he has been criticised of showing no empathy for Epstein’s victims nor remorse over his relationship with the disgraced financier.
Huddersfield University Students’ Union said: ‘We know that students will welcome this decision, and the Students’ Union would like to offer our sympathy to the victims of Epstein and all those affected by sexual abuse across the world’.
University bosses announced they would be appointing a new chancellor in due course.
A statement from the university read: ‘The Duke of York has announced he is stepping back from Royal duties for a period of time.
‘Due to the circumstances and in discussion with the University, he has decided to step down immediately to allow the University to appoint a successor.
‘The Duke has informed the University that “he continues to unequivocally condemn Jeffrey Epstein’s activities and regrets his ill-judged association with him.
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/LfMFwMyhcb
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 20, 2019
‘His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and he deeply sympathises with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure”.
‘The University would also like to express our deep sympathy to all of those victims and families that have been affected and we do hope that they are getting the support they need.’
Later on Thursday, Outward Bound announced Andrew would step down, after taking over from his father’s role in March.
In a statement, the charity said: ‘The board of The Outward Bound Trust has today accepted the resignation as Patron of HRH The Duke of York following his announcement yesterday that he will be withdrawing from public duties for the foreseeable future.
‘The Board thanks HRH The Duke of York for his support over many years.’
In an unprecedented move for a royal in modern times, the Duke wrote to his mother, the Queen, requesting the move as it was ‘clear’ his relationship with the disgraced financier was causing ‘disruption to my family’s work’.
He has since stepped down from several of the charities and organisations of which he is involved, but will continue to work on the entrepreneurship initiative [email protected] because it is a private venture.
In the past few days, more than 20 companies and charities, including Barclays, KPMG and the English National Ballet, have distanced themselves from the Prince.
Backers for his key public initiatives began to openly withdraw their support.
It is unclear if he still plans to travel to Bahrain on Saturday for a Pitch event after he cancelled a trip to South Yorkshire to visit flood affected towns. There is no time period specified for the Prince to be out of the limelight for.
Lisa Bloom, representing Epstein’s victims, today said the Duke of York was ‘not credible’ in his interview, which had been described as a ‘car crash’.
Se said as a lawyer, she had ‘the right’ to seek a statement from individuals she deemed to have ‘relevant information’ and urged him to fully cooperate with the FBI’s probes over his links to the paedophile, who killed himself in a jail cell earlier this year.
The royal was pictured smiling behind the wheel on Thursday morning driving out of his home, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
Dressed in a suit and tie, he waved to photographers as he left the estate in Berkshire.