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Companies cut ties with scandal-hit Duke of York

Duke of York

Prince Andrew with former Lord Provost of Edinburgh Donald Wilson at a Pitch@Palace event at Dynamic Earth in 2015

Five businesses have cut ties with Prince Andrew’s business growth charity and three more are said to be considering their position in the light of his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and damaging claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Advertising Week Europe and Standard Chartered Bank are the latest to withdraw their support for Pitch@Palace, according to MailOnline. Aon, KPMG and Gravity Road have also said they will not back the prince. Drugs maker AstraZeneca said it was reviewing its relationship.  

Their decisions emerged after his heavily-criticised television interview at the weekend.

The withdrawals could prove costly to the charity. KPMG is understood to have paid £100,000-a-year.

In a statement Standard Chartered said: “We can confirm we are not renewing our sponsorship of Pitch@Palace for commercial reasons, once our current agreement terminates in December.”

Both Standard Chartered and KPMG said their decisions were made before the BBC Newsnight interview at the weekend.

Sources at the bank insisted that the reasons for the ending of the partnership were down to commercial concerns and were not impacted by recent controversy.

Students at the University of Huddersfield are calling on the prince to resign as chancellor.

The Duke of York, styled the Earl of Inverness in Scotland, has been an occasional attendee at business events north of the border, including a Pitch@Palace event at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh with Informatics Ventures in September 2015.

Prince Andrew has denied allegations of a relationship or having sex with the 17-year-old girl, saying he has no recollection of meeting her.

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