Former Labour MP Chuka Umunna has described Prince Andrew as a “disgrace” and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said his involvement in the Epstein scandal has damaged the standing of Britain’s Royal Family.
Prince Andrew denied allegations of child sexual abuse during an interview on Friday, 15 November, but his alibi - which involved a visit to a Pizza Express restaurant - has been widely ridiculed on social media.
As it’s suggested Prince Andrew could be extradited to the US, Buckingham Palace asks if there’s a way to speed up the process.— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) November 19, 2019
The prince, who is also the Duke of York, denied having sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by his American financier friend Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Umunna, who quit the Labour Party in January and is now standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme: “I think he’s a complete disgrace. I cannot believe the interview that happened. I do not understand why public figures, particularly politicians, have been pulling their punches on this.”
Umunna added: “The monarchy continues to exist with consent, and he has done more to undermine support or democratic consensus in the monarchy than any member of that family that I have seen in my lifetime. He has let down the institution. I think the lack of self-awareness is breathtaking. He should go to the US, give evidence, where needed and do the right thing.”
Jesus. Put some effort in, Boris. I’ve seen Prince Andrew sweat more than this... https://t.co/NYrEiqOfHl— Jonathan Pie (@JonathanPieNews) November 19, 2019
Farage, during a campaign visit to Peterborough on Tuesday, 19 November, said of the prince’s disastrous TV interview: "It was the fact that he didn't show any regret for that (friendship with Epstein) or sort of almost any sympathy at all for the people who had been trafficked.”
Farage said the prince’s conduct had damaged the Royal Family and added: “The Queen just becomes this ever more exalted figure and the public are beginning to look at those who come afterwards with quite a degree of scepticism at the moment.”
The prince has always had something of a playboy reputation, unlike his brother Prince Charles, who is heir to the throne, or his younger brother Prince Edward.
Prince Andrew’s BBC interview has been described as a “car crash” and his PR adviser reportedly resigned after he went ahead with it.
The prince said he “did not sweat” or “indulge in public displays of affection” with women while attempting to defend his friendship with Epstein, who allegedly killed himself in prison amid an investigation on suspicion of organising a paedophile ring.
During the interview, the prince offered several alibis and denied ever meeting Victoria Roberts-Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged sex slaves, who claimed to have been forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.
No, regarding Prince Andrew's "ni**er in the woodpile slur", you said:— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) November 19, 2019
"It was a private meeting. It's an old fashioned phrase. The Prince, according to your account, said 'if you'll pardon the expression'. So why did it offend you so much?"
Please listen back and retract. https://t.co/oRN5aErKO3
He said he had not been in contact with Epstein between 2006, when an arrest warrant was issued for the New York financier for sex crimes, and 2010, when he was photographed inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.
The Prince insisted he had stayed at Epstein’s because it was “honourable” even after the latter had served a jail term, and had gone there “with the sole purpose” of breaking up their relationship.