Miliband anger over Gaddafi lecture

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David Miliband said today it was "horrific" that a London School of Economics (LSE) lecture in his late father's name was delivered by Colonel Gaddafi's son Saif.

The Ralph Miliband memorial lecture was given by Saif Gaddafi last May.

LSE director Sir Howard Davies resigned last week over the university's links to Col Gaddafi's family, in particular the decision to accept £300,000 research funding from a foundation controlled by Saif Gaddafi.

An independent inquiry into the extent of LSE's links with Libya is to be conducted by former Lord chief Justice Lord Woolf.

The LSE's Ralph Miliband Programme was set up in 1996 with a donation from a former PhD student who had been inspired by the socialist.

Asked on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show about last year's memorial lecture, former Labour foreign secretary Mr Miliband said: "It's horrific.

"The Ralph Miliband Programme at the LSE was founded by a former student of my dad's in the 1950s who said he'd learnt more in the seminars of my dad - who was obviously on the left - he'd learnt more about the right because my dad believed in showing all sides of opinion.

"The idea of Saif Gaddafi giving a lecture under his name is just horrific to him and horrific to the whole family obviously."

Mr Miliband added: "I think there's a wider issue - the LSE has announced an inquiry into whether at any stage their academic independence has been compromised, I think by Lord Woolf. It's very important that that's carried through."

And he warned against rushing into military action against Libya as tensions rise in the country.

Social media and the internet had been "very important" in the revolt and Gaddafi had been "trying to shut that down", he said.

"I understand that technologically we can make it possible for these people to communicate with each other.

"There are ways we can make a difference without falling into the trap of believing that either we choose between just lying down in front of Gaddafi and on the other hand a Western-led invasion."