Institutions review links with Britain's Prince Andrew

London (AFP) –


A British university on Tuesday said it was reviewing its links with Prince Andrew after he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in a TV interview.

But a bank said it would not be renewing its backing for a project he founded.

"We will be reviewing the position of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, as our patron at the next board of governors meeting on Tuesday 26th November," said London Metropolitan University.

"The university opposes all forms of discrimination of discrimination, abuse, human trafficking and any activity that is contrary to the university's values."

Andrew -- Queen Elizabeth II's second son -- took over the role from his father, Prince Philip, in 2013. There have been royal patrons at the institution since 1848.

The review comes after the BBC broadcast a lengthy interview with the prince on Saturday in which he tried to explain his links to Epstein, who was found dead in jail in August.

Andrew strongly denied claims he had had sex with a 17-year-old girl allegedly trafficked by Epstein but expressed little regret about his friendship with the disgraced financier.

The unprecedented subject matter tackled in the television interview -- and the royal's apparent lack of empathy for victims -- has dominated British media in recent days.

It has also put pressure on those with links to the prince.

Students at Huddersfield University in northern England said they wanted Andrew to resign as a patron, claiming he was "an utterly unsuitable representative" because of the allegations.

Standard Chartered bank meanwhile said it was not renewing its sponsorship of the prince's Pitch@Palace project, which encourages entrepreneurs and start-ups around the world.

The bank cited "commercial reasons" for not renewing the current agreement when it expires in December.

Accountancy firm KPMG's backing for the mentoring scheme expired at the end of last month and will not be renewed.

Pharma giant AstraZeneca's partnership is due up next month. It is also being reviewed.

Insurance giant AON reportedly asked for its logo to be removed from the Pitch@Palace website, according to the Financial Times.