Prince Andrew latest: Lady Colin Campbell dropped from Christmas lights switch on after 'defending' Epstein

Telegraph Reporters
Lady C had been set to appear at the switch-on in Tetbury, Glos - Geoff Pugh

Royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell has been sacked from turning on the Christmas lights in Prince Charles' home town - after ‘appearing to partially defend’ convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Lady C had been set to appear at the switch-on in Tetbury, Glos., on December 6, which is near Prince Charles' Highgrove House estate.

But the 70-year-old's appearance has now been pulled by furious organisers after she said 'soliciting sex was not the same as paedophilia'.

Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Lady C made the comment when discussing the scandal-hit Duke of York and disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

She said: "You all seem to have forgotten that Jeffrey Epstein, the offence with which he was charged and for which he was imprisoned, was for soliciting prostitution from minors.

"That is not the same thing as paedophilia."

Her comments, made in the aftermath of the Duke of York's Newsnight interview, prompted a backlash online. 

A statement from Tetbury Town Council said: "The Town Council has been advised by the organisers of the Christmas Lights Switch on Event that, in view of the recent controversy, they have decided to ask the Mayor to turn on the Christmas Lights, with a pupil from St Mary's Primary School."

Epstein, who was a friend of the Duke of York, pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 by a Florida state court of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute.

Lady C appeared on the fifteenth series of 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!', quitting the show on 'medical grounds'.

She is no stranger to controversy, having claimed earlier this year that the #MeToo movement has "prevented men from being men".

Highgrove House, the family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, is located just two miles from the centre of the town.

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