Andrew ‘faces security being downgraded’ after Epstein scandal

By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

The Duke of York reportedly faces losing his round-the-clock armed police protection in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

The Evening Standard said the Home Office is recommending a major downgrade of security for the Queen’s second son after a Scotland Yard review.

Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November following his disastrous Newsnight interview.

The Duke of York during the BBC Newsnight programme (Mark Harrison/BBC)

The Standard said the final decision lies with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

It comes as courtiers work with Government departments to decide on the future security for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have quit as senior royals.

Harry and Meghan, like Andrew, have personal protection officers from the Metropolitan Police, paid for by taxpayers.

But the change in roles for the Sussexes, relocation in part to Canada and desire to be financially independent now means their security and its funding forms part of the crisis talks.

Harry and Meghan’s security is under discussion (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Andrew’s car crash interview sealed his fate when he was accused of lacking empathy for Epstein’s victims and of failing to show regret over his friendship with the disgraced financier.

Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, gave an interview to BBC Panorama and said she was left “horrified and ashamed” after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001.

She claimed she danced with Andrew in Tramp nightclub, adding he was “the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life” and “his sweat was … raining basically everywhere”.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We don’t comment on security measures for individuals in the royal family.”

Buckingham Palace said: “As a matter of course we do not comment on security or security arrangements.”