Prince Andrew under fire

THE Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has defended Prince Andrew’s work as a trade ambassador amid growing controversy over his links to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Hague told the BBC he had “full confidence” in the work the Prince was doing. “I’ve seen a lot of benefits that he has brought in countries that I have visited, where he’s been performing that role,” he added.

The Duke of York is set to lead a Saudi trade mission next month, after an analysis by the UK Trade & Investment agency identified it as an attractive potential market.

However he is facing increasing scrutiny over his link to billionaire financier Epstein, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

According to reports today, his role as Britain’s special trade representative is likely to be downgraded after the next bi-annual review of his work.