Keir Starmer says police should be willing to look into Prince Andrew allegations

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested that police in the UK should be willing to examine any allegations made against Prince Andrew.

The Labour leader said investigators should “look at” any serious claims made by victims, regardless of the status of the accused.

Claims that Andrew had an orgy with underage girls and touched a woman’s breast have hit the headlines again after appearing in legal documents relating to billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York has been reported to the police by the campaign group Republic after allegations of sexual assault resurfaced in unsealed court records. He has denied any wrong doing.

Asked if police should investigate, Sir Keir told LBC radio: “Wherever there’s a complaint made, it’s inevitable that it should be looked at. We have to start with the victims here, and look at what allegations have been made.”

He added: “I’ve seen the headlines on this, not the detail, but frankly whoever it is, where there are allegations, credible allegations made, then of course they should be looked at.”

Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, has urged the Metropolitan Police to open investigations into Prince Andrew and called on King Charles to take questions from the press on the matter.

Prince Andrew attended Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day service (AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Andrew attended Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day service (AFP via Getty Images)

The anti-monarchy campaigner said that he had reported Andrew to the police, accusing the Met of failing to conduct a serious criminal investigation into the case.

Mr Smith said: “The question many people will be asking is simple: if the accused were anyone else, do we believe they wouldn’t have been investigated and prosecuted?”

Andrew, 63, who has previously strenuously denied the allegations, paid millions a year ago to settle a civil case out of court with Virginia Giuffre with no admission of guilt after she accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

The duke is mentioned more than 70 times in nearly 1,000 pages of interviews and transcripts released in the US in connection with a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell – jailed for sex trafficking young girls for Epstein.

The names of more than 170 people who were either associates, friends or victims of Epstein are being made public following a judge’s order, including high-profile figures such as former US president Bill Clinton.

Ghislaine Maxwell (PA)
Ghislaine Maxwell (PA)

Buckingham Palace, which no longer speaks on behalf of the duke after he stepped down as a working royal in 2019, has not commented on the documents.

Evidence from Johanna Sjoberg – who worked for Epstein as a masseuse – alleged that Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan apartment as he posed for a photo with a caricature of himself in 2001.

Other mentions of the duke include previous allegations that Epstein “forced Jane Doe 3 to have sexual relations with was a member of the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew (a/k/a Duke of York)"”at three locations including on Epstein’s private island “in an orgy with numerous other under-aged girls”.

Ms Giuffre has claimed she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 and a minor under US law at Maxwell’s London home, in Epstein’s New York home and during an orgy with Epstein at Caribbean island.

Scotland Yard said in August 2022 that it was taking no further action over allegations made against Epstein and that any future probes into human trafficking by the sex offender were focused on activities outside the UK.

It also previously said it stood by its 2015 decision not to investigate claims by Ms Giuffre that she was sex trafficked to London by Epstein.

The Met Police and representatives of the duke have been approached for a comment.

Additional reporting by PA