Rachael Maskell MP
Rachael Maskell MP

2oth June 2022

Today, Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, presented a bill to allow for titles to be removed. 

The MP is seeking to introduce the Removal of Titles Bill, to give the monarch new powers to remove titles or a committee of Parliament to determine that a title should be taken away. 

Currently, there is no mechanism for a title to be removed, meaning that despite much public outcry Prince Andrew has continued to carry his Duke of York title, even after many of his other titles have been removed by the Queen.

The Bill will address a deficiency in the law and enabling this titles to be removed.  This legislation would also address widespread concern about the inability to remove peerages from those who have been convicted of criminal offences, and also concern that a Russian Oligarch has been able to sit in the Lords following the award of a Peerage by the Prime Minister. 

Similar legislation was enacted over 100 years ago with the Deprivation of Titles Act (1917) which enabled Parliament to remove the title of those who fought against the British in the First World War, however the act only applied to those who had “borne arms against His Majesty or His Allies, or who have adhered to His Majesty’s enemies”.

A survey by York Press earlier this year showed that 80% of local residents wanted the association of Andrew, the current Duke of York to be disassociated with our city, not least due to the ambassadorial role that it carries. This April, City of York Council, removed his Freedom of the City.

Rachael Maskell MP said:

“York is a Human Right’s city and residents made it clear to me in February that they wanted the Duke of York title to be removed from Andrew, the Queen’s second son, in the aftermath of revelations about his personal affairs.

“I have heard the city and sought to explore ways that such a title can be removed, however without new legislation this will not be possible. Not even the Queen, when she removed all his other titles was able to remove his Dukedom. This legislation will therefore enable either the monarch or a Committee of Parliament to remove titles from disgraced owners of those titles.

“For months now, York as a city has called for its association with Prince Andrew to end. After exploring all other avenues, it is clear that an Act of Parliament is the only way we can achieve this.”

“As MP for York central I have taken the opportunity to put forward this bill, which I hope will finally enable us to sever all ties with the Prince. A cross-party group of local Councillors worked together to remove his Freedom of the City and similarly I hope colleagues from across the House will work with me to bring in this important legislation.”

About the Bill

The MP presented the Bill in Parliament today.  The Bill is due to receive it’s Second Reading on Friday 9 December 2022.

The full title of the Bill: Removal of Titles Bill

A Bill to give the monarch powers to remove titles; to provide that such removals can be done by the monarch on their own initiative or following a recommendation of a joint committee of Parliament; and for connected purposes.

Further information on the Deprivation of Titles Act can be found here

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