Dan Wootton: Prince Andrew should drop his title of Duke of York

York doesn't deserve its reputation sullied by a scumbag Duke

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Well, the Grand Old Duke of York paid off a woman around £12 million to stop sex abuse allegations coming to court – even though he claims to never have met his now very rich accuser

Prince Andrew is hardly the sort of royal you want forever associated with your city. So today the Labour MP for York Central made the call to the disgraced Duke to tell him to drop his title.

I think that’s a perfectly reasonable request from Rachael Maskell – and it’s one that a poll shows 88 per cent of York residents back.

Why on earth would he keep bringing shame to York, given he’s made the decision to capitulate and never clear his name – just weeks after insisting he wanted a jury trial?

It’s just like how I think the good people in Sussex shouldn’t have to be associated with those lying and scheming Californian fame whores Harry and Meghan, who retain their titles despite plotting to bring down the Royal Family from Montecito.

Remember, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is officially the Princess of Wales. But she very wisely made the decent decision to never use the title given the public’s ongoing affection of Diana, who remains so associated with the Wales moniker.

Here’s the problem though: Prince Andrew isn’t a decent man.

He is an entitled oaf, boxed in at his grace and favour multi-million pound Royal Lodge on the Windsor Estate, using mummy’s millions to make Virginia Giuffre go away and having his ego stroked by that equally disgraced waster, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

Now I want to be very clear: I have no idea if Ms Giuffre is telling the truth.There are certainly multiple holes in her story.

But, I’m sorry, Prince Andrew had multiple opportunities to clear his name – and he failed on each and every occasion.

His Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis made it obvious he had so much to hide. And he certainly had no contrition about his close friendship with the world’s most notorious paedophiles and child sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Then he broke his pledge time and again to assist the FBI and US authorities investigating Epstein. So Prince Andrew is now like Michael Jackson, who was never found guilty of a crime in court, but used his millions to pay off his accusers, making it impossible to lead a respectable life of public service.

Prince Andrew knew the consequence of refusing to cooperate with the police and then settling with Giuffre, who he now acknowledges is a victim of sexual abuse.

But he is a man with no shame. And York is a very good city, full of hardworking, honest Brits, who don’t deserve their reputation to be sullied a moment longer by a scumbag Duke, who let lust, greed, arrogance and a distinct lack of decency destroy a charmed life.