‘Air Miles Andy’: Prince Andrew was accused of being ‘accountable to nobody’ over trips


PRINCE ANDREW was dubbed “Air Miles Andy” and accused of being “accountable to nobody” by a Labour MP over his numerous trips on planes and helicopters back when he was still carrying out royal duties.

The Queen’s son, 61, is currently facing a civil case in the US over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged sex trafficking victim of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Ms Giuffre is suing the Duke of York after claiming he sexually assaulted her three times in 2001 when she was 17. Andrew has vigorously denied the allegations and also said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting Ms Giuffre.

There was a major development in the case earlier this month as a US judge rejected Andrew’s bid to have the case thrown out.

After a hearing in New York, the judge said the case could proceed to trial, potentially as soon as this autumn.

It emerged last night that Andrew has demanded a trial by jury and that he has issued a 73-point rebuttal of the allegations in which he denied “any and all wrongdoing”.

Amid the ongoing case against Andrew, the Queen stripped him of his military titles and patronages.

The Duke of York had already stepped back from his public duties in 2019 due to backlash over an interview about his relationship with the late Epstein.

'Air Miles Andy': Prince Andrew accused of being 'accountable to nobody' over trips

‘Air Miles Andy’: Prince Andrew accused of being ‘accountable to nobody’ over trips (Image: GETTY)

Prince Andrew: Denies sexual assault allegations

Prince Andrew: Denies sexual assault allegations (Image: GETTY)

As Andrew’s life has been pored over recently, one of his former nicknames – “Air Miles Andy” – has resurfaced.

Andrew received the moniker from newspapers due to his penchant for spending thousands of pounds on luxury air travel.

Critics accused the royal of being “unaccountable” over his foreign travel, some of which was paid for by taxpayers.

Some of the trips came during Andrew’s 10-year stint as the UK’s special representative for international trade and investment.

The Duke was appointed as a trade envoy in 2001 after retiring from the Royal Navy, but left the post in 2011.

Navy career: Andrew retired in 2001

Navy career: Andrew retired in 2001 (Image: GETTY)

However, four years after Andrew stepped down from the position, he was still accruing more air miles than any other royal.

The Daily Telegraph quoted the late Labour MP Paul Flynn about Andrew’s extensive travel in 2015.

He said: “He is accountable to nobody and if he is doing this using public funds there should be more information about what he is doing and what successes he is delivering.

“His role is very ill-defined. I’m surprised he doesn’t have enough to do in this country.

“And let’s not forget there were very serious criticisms made of Prince Andrew during his time as trade ambassador, because of the way he was conducting himself.”

Andrew: In India in role as trade envoy in 2006

Andrew: In India in role as trade envoy in 2006 (Image: GETTY)

In 2014, Andrew travelled to 15 countries on “working visits”, which amounted to 66,800 miles by air.

Some of the Duke’s trips that year were approved by the Government and the Royal Visits Committee, including his visits to Bahrain, Kuwait and Germany.

Other trips, including to China and India were deemed “working visits”, but were paid for privately.

Meanwhile, another visit to Bahrain and a trip to the United Arab Emirates were classed as “private” visits.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said at the time: “The Duke carries out official overseas visits like other members of the Royal family as and when requested by HM Government and as approved by the Royal Visits Committee.”

They added: “We do not comment on the private travel of members of the Royal family.”

Some of the criticism levelled at Andrew over his travel focused on him combining golf trips with official engagements.

Andrew has also been blasted for his travel within the UK, including a helicopter flight from Windsor to Kent in 2009 for a party at a golf course.

The Duke said at the time: “The helicopter is very often the most efficient way of packing in as many engagements as we can.”

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