A massive telecommunications firm along with three Australian universities — have severed ties with organizations linked to Prince Andrew following the royal’s ill-fated BBC interview, according to new reports.
The UK-based, multinational firm BT confirmed to The Guardian Wednesday that it would not work with the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) — which helps participants develop workplace skills — unless Prince Andrew is removed as patron.
“We have been working with the company since its launch in 2017 and our dealings have been with its executive directors not its patron, the Duke of York,” a BT spokesperson told the paper. “As a leading provider of online digital skills training, iDEA was a natural partner for our new Skills for Tomorrow program.”
“However, in light of recent developments we are reviewing our relationship with the organization and hope that we might be able to work further with them, in the event of a change in their patronage,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this week, accounting powerhouse KPMG yanked its sponsorship of the embattled prince’s Pitch@Palace program — which provides mentorships to budding entrepreneurs — and it wasn’t the last institution to pull its support for the charity.
Three Australian universities — Bond University, the University of Wollongong and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology — have either ended their relationships with the initiative or decided not to continue it in the future, Sky News reported.
Barclays has recently renewed its sponsorship of the program, but is understood to be monitoring the matter, the Guardian reported.
The English-Swedish biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca’s three-year partnership with the program is set to expire by the end of the year and is being reviewed, according to the report.
London Metropolitan University will review Andrew’s role as patron during a meeting next week, the paper reported.
The student union panel at the University of Huddersfield voted unanimously this week for Prince Andrew to step down as the chancellor — a motion that will be reviewed by the university.
The 59-year-old duke has faced a wave of criticism following his “car crash” of an interview with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis — during which he denied getting sweaty with and hugging Jeffrey Epstein’s then-17-year-old female victim, Virginia Giuffre, before having sex with her in 2001.