17th February, 2022 10:46 am
Charities working with survivors of abuse say they have “significant concerns” about the Duke of York’s offer to support trafficking victims.
Prince Andrew made the pledge after settling the US civil sexual assault case brought by Virginia Giuffre, and agreeing to pay her an undisclosed sum.
He made no admission of liability and has always denied the allegations.
Labour MP Jess Phillips has expressed doubt Andrew could play a constructive role in combating trafficking.
“Those who work in sexual violence [and] human trafficking services are certainly not going to have open arms to his allyship… even if it was just finances,” she said.
Ms Giuffre had been suing Andrew in a civil action, claiming he sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was 17 – which the prince has repeatedly denied.
On Tuesday it was announced they had reached an out-of-court settlement.
A statement from their lawyers said the duke would pay an undisclosed sum to Ms Giuffre and make a “substantial donation” to her charity in support of victims’ rights.
It also said the duke regretted his association with late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew had previously told BBC Newsnight in 2019 he did not regret being friends with Epstein.
No details of the payout to Ms Giuffre have been made public – and there are calls for more detail about where the money will come from.
Labour MP Andy McDonald told BBC Newsnight that he intends to raise the issue in Parliament to find out whether public money is being used for the settlement.
Mr McDonald said “the issue isn’t going to go away until people have that information and receive assurances that public money is not going to be used to in any way contribute to the settlement”.
The exact amount of the financial settlement has not been revealed but reports have speculated that it could run into millions of pounds. The duke receives a Royal Navy pension and a stipend from the Queen’s Duchy of Lancaster income.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Andrew also pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims”.
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