MPS have been barred from probing whether public money helped Prince Andrew pay off his sex abuse accuser Virginia Roberts
Prince Andrew’s multi-million pound out-of-court settlement cannot be investigated by MPs due to a ridiculous ancient custom which means they are barred them from discussing royalty in Parliament.
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The Mail Online reports: The Duke of York is believed to be facing a legal bill of up to £12 million following his out-of-court agreement with Ms Roberts, who was suing the Queen‘s son in New York for alleged sexual abuse after she claims she was trafficked by his friend and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein. Prince Andrew vehemently denied these claims.
Questions remain over whether the monarch – who is said to favour Andrew – is helping him foot the bill, which includes a £2million donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity, which helps victims of sexual assault and trafficking.
However, an ancient rule means that MPs are restricted from discussing royalty in the Commons and therefore Prince Andrew’s settlement can’t be questioned.
Meanwhile, Labour MP for Middlesborough Andy McDonald has demanded that a minister comes to the House to reveal if any taxpayer money from the Sovereign Grant – cash paid to the royals from the public – was used to pay off 38-year-old Ms Roberts, according to The Sun.
Mr McDonald has since written to minister Steve Barclay so he can confirm if any taxpayer money was used at all to pay the out-of-court settlement and establish that ‘no public funds have been or will be used in part or whole in satisfaction of the settlement’.
Mr McDonald said: ‘Raising an issue relating to the Royal Family in the House is fraught with difficulties.’
A Government spokesman said: ‘The Sovereign Grant supports the monarch and certain members of the Royal Family in carrying out their official duties.
‘Prince Andrew stopped receiving support through the Sovereign Grant in 2019 when he ceased carrying out official duties.’
Mr McDonald previously warned there would be ‘an almighty hue and cry’ if it emerged that public money was being used.
‘That would just be a step too far,’ he said. ‘I can’t predict what form that protest would take.
‘But people would be inordinately upset if taxpayers’ monies was used as a payoff for litigation, from a man who was hitherto quite content to be associated with a paedophile [Jeffrey Epstein] and child trafficker [Ghislaine Maxwell].’
It comes as Prince Andrew was recently urged to give up his Earl of Inverness title after settling a multi-million pound rape claim by Ms Roberts.
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