The Duke of York was adamant. Accused of sleeping with a 17-year-old girl in New York while he was on an official Royal tour, Prince Andrew was insistent that no such event had ever have taken place.

"I don't think that could have happened at all," the Duke told his interrogator Emily Maitlis during his excruciating Newsnight interview.

Virginia Giuffre Roberts has claimed she had sex with the Duke three times, once in London in March 2001; a month later at his friend Jeffrey Epstein's New York townhouse; and a third time on the billionaire's private Caribbean Island.

But last night the New York trip - on behalf of the Outward Bound Trust of which he remains patron - came under renewed spotlight after a source who was with the Duke told The Telegraph that there were possible gaps in his itinerary, although the source accepted events had taken place a long time ago.

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The admission comes amid renewed pressure for the Duke to formally answer questions in the US where the FBI is investigating possible co-conspirators who aided Epstein's sex trafficking of underage girls. Epstein, a billionaire financier, committed suicide in the summer while awaiting trial for sex offences.

Last night, the Metropolitan Police also faced calls to open an investigation into Ms Roberts' claims she was flown into London to have sex with the Duke. It should be pointed out that Prince Andrew, 59, vehemently denies that he ever had any sexual relations with Ms Roberts and does not recall ever meeting her.

It has emerged that a preliminary Scotland Yard inquiry was shelved seemingly on a technicality because sex trafficking laws were not in existence at the time.

Prince Andrew issued a string of denials on BBC Newsnight with Emily Maitlis with regard to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Photo / BBC
Prince Andrew issued a string of denials on BBC Newsnight with Emily Maitlis with regard to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. Photo / BBC

Lisa Bloom, a US lawyer representing five of Epstein's victims, called on British police to begin an inquiry. "No one is above the law," she said. "Prince Andrew's interview simply lacked credibility. If he is innocent, he should welcome a further inquiry. Innocent or guilty, he must cooperate with all investigations."

When the interview broadcast on Saturday turned to the New York allegation, the Prince was certain his busy schedule would have made such a sexual encounter with Ms Roberts impossible.

The Prince had flown to New York on April 9th for a three-day tour that ended in Boston on April 11th.

The Prince went on to explain that while he was in North America, he was busy at a charity dinner in New York, then flew to Boston and that by the time he returned to New York, Epstein and his party, including Ms Roberts, had already left Manhattan.

But a source tracked down by the Telegraph who was with the Duke in New York and in Boston has accepted they could not confirm his whereabouts for the full three days he spent on official business.

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Asked if the Duke might have visited Epstein, the source said: "I've no idea."

The Telegraph understands that at the end of the three-day visit, members of the Royal entourage returned to London direct from Boston. But Prince Andrew, accompanied by his security detail, flew back to New York.

The Court Circular from the time shows that the Duke flew to New York on April 9 2001, catching a morning flight from Heathrow, which would have landed in New York at about or just after lunchtime local time. The Court Circular lists no official engagements for the Duke for the rest of the day.

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The source had no recollection of what events had taken place during the afternoon or evening of the entourage's arrival in New York.

"I literally can't remember what we would have done but it would have been busy. Particularly for a charity event we would have been cramming as much in for them in that time," said the source.

The Prince then undertook a full day of events in New York on April 10, flew to Boston in the evening and then returned to New York in the afternoon on April 11th.

Aides flew back to London direct, leaving the Duke in north America. His next official engagement took place in South Korea eight days later on April 19th.

On the same day that the Duke of York was flying into New York from London, a party on Epstein's private jet - that included Ms Roberts - was landing at Teterboro airport, a small airport in New Jersey, a 30-minute drive to Epstein's home in Manhattan.

The flight logs, contained in US court documents made public in the summer, suggest the Epstein entourage, again including Ms Roberts, then left New York, flying to the US Virgin Islands where they took a boat to Epstein's private island.

The source said it was not possible to account for the Duke's activities in New York but was adamant that he could not have been involved in sexual relations with Ms Roberts. "The Duke is absolutely not capable of this. Epstein is clearly horrible but I'm confident [of the Duke's innocence]. It's inconceivable," said the source.

In his interview with Ms Maitlis, the Duke said: "I think that the date we have for that [the New York encounter] shows that I was in Boston or I was in New York the previous day and I was at a dinner for The Outward Bound Trust in New York and then I flew up to Boston the following day and then on the day that she says that this occurred, they'd already left to go the island before I got back from Boston. So I don't think that could have happened at all."

But another woman, Johanna Sjoberg, who was recruited to give massages to Epstein at his Florida mansion, has given evidence under deposition that she was present in New York with the Duke on the April visit.

Ms Sjoberg has claimed that the Duke had groped her on a sofa while she was sitting on his lap. Ms Sjoberg says the event took place in April 2001 but could not give a specific date. Ms Sjoberg says Ms Roberts was also present.

In his interview with Newsnight, Ms Maitlis said to the Duke: "There was a witness there, Johanna Sjoberg who says that you did visit the house in that month." The Duke replied: "I probably did, on one of the weirder things, I was staying with the... because of what I was doing I was staying with the Consul General which is further down the street on the 5th so I wasn't...I wasn't staying there. I may have visited but no, definitely didn't, definitely, definitely no, no, no activity."

Last night Buckingham Palace reiterated that the Duke had never had a sexual relationship with Ms Roberts.

A spokesman said: "HRH's words in the interview speak for themselves," and added: "It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."