Friday , April 16 2021

Yorkshire Air Ambulance withdraws Prince Andrew connection – BBC news, bbc.com


        

                                 Prince Andrew, left, and Jeffrey Epstein in New York's Central ParkImage copyright                 News Syndication                                                      
Image caption                                    Prince Andrew has previously said he regretted this 2010 meeting with Epstein                             

An air ambulance service has become the latest charity to withdraw its connection to the Duke of

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) said “staff, volunteer and donor opinion” had led to the move by its trustee

It follows Prince Andrew’sappearance on BBC Newsnightand the controversy over his ties to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The duke opened the air ambulance base at Nostell in 2015.

For several months the duke had been facing questions over his ties to US financier Epstein, whotook his own life in Augustwhile awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers, claimed she was forced to have sex with the prince three times. The duke has always denied any form of sexual contact or relationship with her.

BT and Barclays have joined universities and other charities in distancing themselves from the duke.

YAA, which has become the latest charity to withdraw its connection, said: “As a charity funded generously by public donations, we must seriously consider the opinions of our donors and supporters, and this has been a significant factor in reaching this decision. “

Prince Andrew, 59, announced on Wednesday he would step back from royal duties andall organizations he is patron ofbecause the Epstein scandal had become a “major disruption” to the Royal Family.

Buckingham Palace had described it as “a personal decision” following discussions with the Queen and Prince Charles.

                                                                                                      Image copyright                 Mark Harrison / BBC                                                      
Image caption                                    Prince Andrew’s resignation from all royal duties followed an interview on the BBC’s Newsnight program                             

He is no longer patron of the Outward Bound Trust, the English National Ballet, Royal

The University of Huddersfield has also said the prince wouldstep down as chancellor.

The main role of a royal patron is to raise the profile and attract publicity for work done by charities.

The prince will no longer carry out public engagements but will still attend Royal Family events such as Trooping the Color and Remembrance Sunday.

Standard Chartered Bank and KPMG also announced they were withdrawing support for the duke’s business mentoring initiative Pitch @ Palace, though sources told the BBC the decisions were made before the interview.

Four Australian universities also said they would not be continuing their involvement in Pitch @ Palace Australia.

Prince Andrew also cancelled a planned visit to flood-hit areas of Yorkshire on 19 November,the Sun newspaper reported.

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