Campaign group Republic has called on the government to allow a full parliamentary debate on the Prince Andrew scandal and to come clean over its own involvement in the affair.

MPs are banned from criticising or debating individual royals in parliament - a rule Republic has condemned as undemocratic and an attack on freedom of speech.

Despite a cosmetic removal of Prince Andrew's trade ambassador role a few years ago he continues to receive government funding and to represent Britain around the world.

The campaign group has set out three questions the government needs to answer on the Andrew/Epstein affair:

1 - What did the government know about the allegations and when were they made aware of them?

2 - Has the government lobbied the US in an attempt to protect Andrew from legal action?

3 - Why is Andrew still representing Britain given all the revelations about his friendship with Epstein?

Republic's CEO, Graham Smith, said today:

"Andrew is denying the specific charges of under-age sex, but it has been reported he has remained friends with a convicted abuser, and there is plenty of evidence that his judgement and character fall well short of the standards of public office."

"If Andrew were a politician he would no longer be in a job - his royal status is protecting him from accountability."

"It is unlikely Prince Andrew was unaware of these allegations before they broke last week.  It is hard to believe the government weren't warned.  We need to know if ministers have lobbied the US authorities on this matter."

"Commons rules need to change immediately, to allow MPs to debate the matter in parliament and question ministers.  It is outrageous that our elected MPs cannot challenge a prince in parliament."

"MPs need to be asking serious questions about Andrew's continuing role as a trade representative and the government's role in protecting him.  If he is representing Britain, why, when he is bringing the country into disrepute?  If he is representing private interests then he has to come clean on who is paying for his trips overseas and in whose interests he is acting."

"The problem is you can't sack someone from a family, whatever the government does Andrew will still be a prince.  So instead they're motivated to sweep the whole thing under the carpet."

"The public has a right to know if ministers have been trying to protect Andrew from investigation and scrutiny.  We have a right to expect our MPs to be able to ask those questions in parliament."