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Australian universities sever ties with Prince Andrew charity after scandal

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Au universities and scheme for entrepreneurs founded by Prince Andrew has taken down the logos of its corporate sponsors from its website, as firms and charities distance themselves from the British royal over a scandal.

This include the branch of Pitch@Palace Australia who held its annual pitching contest on 4 October, at Government House in Perth, hosted by Prince Andrew himself. University of Wollongong in New South Wales would also be reviewing their relationship.

The “supporters” page on the website of Andrew’s Pitch@Palace program, which is intended as a platform to boost the work of entrepreneurs, was no longer available on Tuesday.

Cached versions of the page, saved in June this year, showed it carried the logos of brands including KPMG, AstraZeneca, Barclays, Cisco, Standard Chartered and Bosch.

Insurance broker AON confirmed it had asked Pitch@Palace to remove its logo from the website. A spokesman said the logo had been placed on the site in error, as AON had no connection to the scheme.

KPMG, which was listed as a “founding partner” on the old supporters page, ended its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace on October 31. Several national media in Britain reported the decision was linked to adverse publicity around Andrew at that time. A KPMG spokesman declined to comment.

Standard Chartered said it would not be renewing its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace when it expired at the end of the year.

A spokesman for AstraZeneca said the company’s three-year partnership with Pitch@Palace was due to expire at the end of the year and was being reviewed.

Barclays, which has supported participants in the Pitch@Palace program for five years, declined to comment.

Separately, British charity The Outward Bound Trust has called a board meeting this week to discuss Andrew’s patronage, a spokeswoman said. Other non-profit organisations are having similar internal discussions, British media said.

Meanwhile members of Huddersfield Students’ Union have passed a motion to lobby Andrew to resign as the university’s chancellor.

Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, denied an allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a US prison in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The scandal escalated since Andrew’s rambling denials and explanations in a disastrous TV interview aired on Saturday left many viewers incredulous, and his apparent lack of compassion for Epstein’s victims drew widespread condemnation.

with AAP

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