Prince Andrew resigns from fellowship at Hughes Hall over sexual misconduct scandal

His resignation followed pressure from the student body

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The Duke of York yesterday resigned from his position at Hughes Hall as an honorary fellow following the publication of an open letter signed by 168 students and alumni from the college denouncing his failure to “condemn harassment and sexual misconduct.”

The authors of the letter emphasised that their criticism was not on the basis of allegations against the Duke: “We accept that there are no new allegations against the Prince; questions surrounding his associations and behaviour existed for many years before he was awarded an honorary fellowship at Hughes Hall."

But they stressed that the college has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and misconduct, and that Prince Andrew's continued presence at the college would be in “direct conflict with the College’s values and threatens the very culture we all strive to create”.

The scandal over the readmission of Dr Peter Hutchinson to Trinity Hall and the College's commitment to review its decision-making processes in light of this has really put the issue of sexual misconduct on Cambridge's agenda, another reason why students at Hughes Hall are uncomfortable with the Duke of York's fellowship.

The open letter stated: “Amidst a University-wide movement to improve how such complaints are dealt with, our association with the Prince is concerning."

Prince Andrew has been criticised for his friendship with the disgraced financier, Jeremy Epstein. He was photographed with Epstein in 2010, then already a convicted sex offender.

Aside from their friendship, allegations were also made against the Duke by a woman called Virginia Roberts, who claimed she was trafficked to the UK as a 17-year-old and forced by Epstein to sleep with Prince Andrew three times, the former of whom she accused of turning her into a 'sex slave'.

Roberts has criticised Scotland Yard for failing to investigate her allegations, which the Duke emphatically denied in a recent BBC interview. He said he had no memory of ever meeting her in London, insisting he had been at Pizza Express in Woking on one of the nights in question.

Cover image credit: MediaPunch