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McKillen apologies to court for 'colourful' language in texts

Irish property developer Paddy McKillen faced embarrassment in his battle with the billionaire Barclay brothers over three top London hotels yesterday as a court heard how he labelled as "scum" the Qatari royalty he is hoping to seek financial backing from.

Mr McKillen, fighting Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay for control of the Berkeley, Connaught and Claridge's, apologised in court for the "colourful" language in the text messages he sent in November 2010 to an associate of Derek Quinlain, then a fellow shareholder in the Maybourne company which owns the hotels. The revelations are hugely embarrassing to Mr McKillen as the court heard he has lined up financing from the Qataris to buy out other investors if he wins his battle. The developer, a 36 per cent shareholder in Maybourne, claims the Barclays acted unlawfully to take a controlling stake.