Prince Andrew’s accuser asks UK public for support

An image taken from video issued by the BBC, Virginia Roberts Giuffre speaks during an interview that will be aired on Monday. (AP)
Updated 02 December 2019

Prince Andrew’s accuser asks UK public for support

  • Giuffre says she danced with Andrew at a London nightclub before having sex with him
  • In Prince Andrew's recent interview, he said he had never met Giuffre, and had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating

LONDON: The woman who says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 is asking the British public to support her quest for justice.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre tells BBC Panorama in an interview to be broadcast Monday evening that people “should not accept this as being OK.”
Giuffre’s first UK television interview on the topic describes how she says she was trafficked by notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein beginning in 2001 and made to have sex with Andrew three times, including once in London.
“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty,” Giuffre tells the program.
Andrew, 59, has categorically denied having sex with Giuffre and apologized for his association with Epstein, who died in prison in August in what New York City officials said was a suicide.
He has stepped down from royal duties “for the foreseeable future” because of his friendship with Epstein and the allegations of sexual wrongdoing with an underage girl

He tried to contain the damage by giving a televised interview on the topic, but it backfired in part because he did not express concern for Epstein’s victims.
In the TV interview, Giuffre says she danced with Andrew at a London nightclub before having sex with him.
“It was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me,” she said. “His sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere, I was just like grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine (Maxwell) would have expected from me.”

She said that Maxwell told her she would have to do for Andrew what she had done for Epstein, meaning she would have to have sex with the prince.
“That just made me sick,” Giuffre said.
In his recent interview, Andrew said he had never met Giuffre. He said he had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating.
Epstein was a wealthy financier with many powerful friends. He was in prison on sex trafficking charges when he died.
The scandal is one of the worst to have gripped the royal household in recent decades

 

 


Fears of Islamophobia in the UK even as record number of Muslim MPs elected 

Updated 11 min 33 sec ago

Fears of Islamophobia in the UK even as record number of Muslim MPs elected 

  • MCB warning comes after Johnson’s landslide election result
  • UK saw a record number of 220 women elected to the House of Commons   

LONDON: There is a “palpable sense of fear amongst Muslim communities” in the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has warned, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a crushing victory in the 2019 general election.
“We entered the election campaign period with longstanding concerns about bigotry in our politics and our governing party. Now we worry that Islamophobia is ‘oven-ready’ for government. Mr Johnson has been entrusted with huge power, and we pray it is exercised responsibly for all Britons,” the MCB’s Secretary-General Harun Khan said. 
The warning came as accusations of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party continue to plague it.
Despite concern that Islamophobia is “oven-ready” for government, a record number of Muslim MPs were elected on Thursday, with 19 winning seats in the general election; an increase of four from the last election in 2017.
Of these, 15 belong to the Labour Party and the other four, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, are Conservatives. 
As the UK saw a record number of 220 women elected to the House of Commons, this trend was also seen in the number of Muslim women, with 10 winning seats. 
Despite this, Muslims are still not proportionally represented in parliament.
Only 3 percent of the UK’s 650 MPs are Muslim, whilst the country’s Muslim population stands at around 5 percent.
The MCB’s concerns about bigotry and Islamophobia were echoed on Thursday by ex-party chairwoman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the first female Muslim cabinet member.
Warsi said the Conservative Party “must start healing its relationship with British Muslims,” and the fact that her colleagues in the party had retweeted comments from Islamophobes Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins was “deeply disturbing.” 
She added: “An independent inquiry into Islamophobia is a must — the battle to root out racism must now intensify.”
The Tory peer has repeatedly called for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, and told BBC Radio 4’s Today program in November that the party had a “deep problem” with Islamophobia. 
“Remember, we’re now four years into these matters first being brought to the attention of the party … the fact that we’re still prevaricating about even having an inquiry, and the kind of inquiry we’re going to have, shows just how dismissive the party have been on the issue of Islamophobia.”

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour MP for Bolton South East Yasmin Qureshi (L) attend a general election campaign event in Bolton, Britain December 10, 2019. (Reuters)


Later in November, Johnson apologized for the “hurt and offence” that had been caused by Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, and said that an inquiry into “every manner of prejudice and discrimination” would begin by Christmas. 
Despite apologizing, he remained silent about his own comments on Muslim women wearing the niqab in his Daily Telegraph column in August 2018, when he wrote that Muslim women wearing it “look like letter boxes” or “bank robbers.”
Fourteen party members were suspended in March after posting Islamophobic or racist comments on social media, and a member who had previously been suspended in 2015 for comments on social media was due to stand in local elections this year. 
Peter Lamb was readmitted to the party after he had served a suspension and apologized for his comments.
Lamb, who has since quit the party, tweeted in 2015: “Islam (is) like alcoholism. The first step to recovery is admit you have a problem.”
Yasmin Qureshi, a female Muslim Labour MP, has held her Bolton South East seat since 2010 and was re-elected on Thursday for the fourth time.
Speaking to Arab News, Qureshi said many Muslims were “very fearful and very disappointed” at Johnson’s victory.
“Generally, you can say whatever you want about Muslims in this country now and nobody is really bothered, nobody challenges it, and if it is challenged, it is very mildly dealt with.
“Islamophobia is a big issue and although everybody rightly spoke about anti-semitism, there was not as much emphasis and talk about Islamophobia.
“Islamophobia is not just in the Conservative party, it is actually in the establishment. It is especially present in the media in this country; most of the newspapers of our country are very right-wing and anti-Muslim.
She added: “It doesn’t matter whether you malign Muslims, it’s essentially okay, you can get away with it. That is sadly a reflection of the current state of affairs in the UK.”