MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Tuesday there were questions to be answered after a televised interview in which Prince Andrew denied accusations he had sex with a teenage girl.
Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, has faced a backlash for his explanation of his relationship with late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein and a denial of ever having sex with one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre.
Speaking publicly for the first time about his relationship with Epstein, who killed himself in August while being held on federal sex-trafficking charges, he gave an at times rambling and contradictory account.
Since the interview with the BBC aired on Saturday night, it has overshadowed Britain’s election campaign.
Asked during a televised election leadership debate with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday whether the monarchy was fit for purpose, Corbyn said: “It needs a bit of improvement.”
When the presenter followed up by asking whether Prince Andrew was fit for purpose, Corbyn said: “There are very, very serious questions that must be answered and nobody should be above the law.”
In response to the same questions, Johnson said “the institution of the monarchy is beyond reproach”.
“All our sympathies should be with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, and the law must certainly take its course,” he added.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Elizabeth Piper, writing by William James)