The Duke of York says he is stepping back from royal duties because the Jeffrey Epstein scandal has become a “major disruption” to the Royal Family. Prince Andrew, 59, said he had asked the Queen for permission to withdraw for the “foreseeable future”. He said he deeply sympathised with sex offender Epstein’s victims and everyone who “wants some form of closure”. The duke has faced a growing backlash following a BBC interview about his friendship with the US financier. Companies he has links with, such as BT and Barclays, have joined universities and charities in distancing themselves from him.
- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pays homage to the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
- UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim stated that there are many factors behind the defeat of Sajith Premadasa.