Councillors vote to strip Prince Andrew's freedom of the city

Andrew was given the Honorary Freedom of the City of York in 1987.

York Councillors vote to strip Prince Andrew’s freedom of the city Getty Images

York Council members representing all the main parties voted for a motion to remove Prince Andrew’s freedom of the city, which was conferred on him in 1987.

A number of the councillors and members of public who spoke at the meeting at York Racecourse on Wednesday called for either the Queen or the Government to strip Andrew of the title Duke of York and thereby remove what Labour councillor Aisling Musson called: “This stain of an association with this city.”

The honorary freedom of the city is bestowed to recognise notable service by local residents, to distinguished people, and to royalty, the council has said.

He is the first person ever to have the freedom of the city removed, councillors were told.

Other recipients of the honour include the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill, film composer John Barry, and actress Dame Judi Dench.

There were two formal abstentions – from the Lord Mayor and Lord Mayor elect.

Liberal Democrat Darryl Smalley, City of York Council’s executive member for culture, leisure and communities and proposer of the motion, said: “The Honorary Freedom of York is the highest honour we, as a city, can bestow on those who represent the very best of York. The honour is held by many notable and accomplished people who carry it with pride and responsibly.

“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.

“The removal of this honorary title sends the right message that we as a city stand with victims of abuse.

“The next logical step is now for Prince Andrew to do the right thing and relinquish his Duke of York title.

“If he fails to do so, the Government and Buckingham Palace must step in to remove his title to finally end Prince Andrew’s connection to York.”

It comes in the wake of the settlement of his legal battle with Virginia Giuffre who claimed he sexually assaulted her when she was underage.

Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.

Andrew had faced widespread calls for him to give up the dukedom, which is one of his last remaining major titles after the Queen stripped him of his honorary military roles and he gave up his HRH style.

The Queen’s second son “regrets his association” with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a letter submitted to the United States District Court stated.

Andrew has agreed to make a “substantial donation” to Ms Giuffre’s charity after the pair agreed the undisclosed out-of-court settlement in her civil sex claim against him.

No detail has been disclosed with regard to the settlement and costs, but it has been reported he has agreed to pay an eight-figure sum.

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