Campaign group Republic has condemned the apparent impunity of the royal household, saying the Metropolitan Police need to act to ensure Prince Andrew is dealt with like any other citizen.

The comments follow tonight's BBC Panorama programme in which Virginia Giuffre made clear accusations of rape and abuse against the prince.

The programme also showed the Met Police being unwilling to investigate direct accusations of trafficking and abuse alleged to have taken place in London.

Graham Smith, speaking for Republic, said this evening:

"The documentary was difficult to watch, the bravery of Virginia Giuffre stands in marked contrast to the bizarre defence offered by Prince Andrew."

"To hear that Giuffre made a complaint directly to the Metropolitan police, and they did nothing, is scandalous."

"Are the royals above the law?  Is there any line they might cross that will lead the police to act?"

"Prince Andrew has refused to speak to the victims' lawyers, he has dodged US law enforcement and he appears to be protected by the UK police.  Someone has to act."

"This whole disgraceful affair also raises serious questions about the Queen, what she knew and when, and why it was only after it became a PR disaster that she acted."

"Any other person in this country, faced with such serious accusations against them, would face investigation by the police, whether the offences took place in the UK or abroad.  Prince Andrew cannot be allowed to simply brush the charges off and not even face proper investigation."