The Duke of York and his peers could be stripped of their titles under a bill introduced in Parliament. There is currently no mechanism to remove such a title, but calls for action against Andrew have been mounting since he paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case in the United States with his accuser Virginia. Giuffre.
Rachael Maskell, Labor MP for York Central, is seeking to fill the legal loophole via her Titles Abolition Bill. It aims to give the monarch new powers to revoke titles or a committee of Parliament to determine that a title should be revoked.
Ms Maskell said her constituents had made it clear to her that they wanted the Duke of York title scrapped, particularly given York’s recognition as a city of human rights. She argued that there was already a “culture clash” when it came to conversations about ending violence against women and girls in the city.
Ms Maskell pointed out that the proposed legislation could also have “wider implications” for individuals like Lord Lebedev, the Russian-born businessman who received a peerage in 2020, as he could also be stripped of his title. She said there was a ‘definite interest’ across the Commons and even the Lords in putting in place a mechanism which would deal with the issue of ‘people who have failed to live up to public expectations’.
Ms Maskell said: ‘In February when we focused on the court case, which was being brought against Andrew, my constituents said 80 per cent of people wanted the association with the current Duke of York severed . And therefore, I have met with the Clerks here in the Commons to see how this can be achieved.
She added: “There is no mechanism in place, even for the monarch, to remove the title. The only real way to achieve this is if Andrew is no longer, by choice, called the Duke of York.”
Ms Maskell highlighted the case of disgraced peer Lord Nazir Ahmed, adding: ‘Therefore this could have wider implications for how legislation could then be used to remove the titles of people who have failed to live up to expectations. public.” Lord Ahmed was convicted earlier this year of twice attempting to rape a girl and sexually assaulting a boy under the age of 11 in the early 1970s.
The introduction in Parliament of Ms Maskell’s Bill, which is due to receive its second reading on December 9, comes shortly after York Council decided to strip Andrew of his freedom of citizenship. Andrew had previously stepped down from several City and County sponsorships in 2019, after stepping down from royal duties due to his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In her trial, Ms Giuffre accused Andrew of sexual abuse, saying the duke had sex with her when she was 17 and trafficked by her friend, the late Mr Epstein. Although the parties settled the case in February, the out-of-court settlement was not an admission of guilt by the Duke, who has always strenuously denied the allegations made against him.
For more stories of where you live, visit In your region.