LONDON, March 11 (UPI) -- A former senior officer in the British Foreign Office called Thursday for Prince Andrew to be removed as a trade ambassador.
In letters to Prime Minister David Cameron's foreign affairs adviser and two cabinet ministers, Stephen Day, a former ambassador to Qatar, said Prince Andrew, also styled Duke of York, is regarded there as "crass" and that sending him abroad suggests Britain wants to work with "dodgy fixers and politicians," the Daily Mail reported. Day, who left the Foreign Office in 1993 as head of the Middle East section, said Andrew even had a private meeting three years ago with Moammar Gadhafi.
"The duke's activities are doing such serious damage to the Royal Family itself and to Britain's political, diplomatic and commercial interests that an entirely new role should be found for him as soon as possible," he said.
Andrew has made several visits to President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. The father of imprisoned Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev made a public plea to Andrew to ask Aliyev to free him.
The prince is under fire for allowing a friend who was convicted of having sex with an underage prostitute to use a Royal Air Force base near Sandringham, the Royal Family weekend retreat.