Sunday Times apologises over Adam Ingram bribe story


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A former Labour MP has accepted undisclosed compensation and an apology over a claim that he bribed Muammar Gaddafi's son.

Adam Ingram, who represented East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow until standing down at the 2010 election, brought libel proceedings over a November 2011 Sunday Times story.

His solicitor, Andrew Stephenson, told Mr Justice Eady that it referred to an internal investigation by the London School of Economics into donations it received in 2009 from a foundation of Saif Gaddafi.

It alleged that Mr Ingram was responsible, through a company said to be headed by him, for making a secret £100,000 payment as a bribe to Saif Gaddafi in order to secure contracts for his company in Libya.

Mr Stephenson told the judge at London's High Court that the allegation was untrue.

From June 2008 to July 2009, Mr Ingram held a non-executive position as a consultant to the company to which the article referred; he was never a director nor involved in the management of the business.

Mr Ingram had no knowledge of any payment to Saif Gaddafi or to any foundation in Libya. He had never met Saif Gaddafi, had any dealings with him or any foundation of his, been to Libya or sought to bribe anyone.

Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, counsel for Times Newspapers Ltd, said it took the view before publication that as a matter of public interest the company's name and Mr Ingram's association with it should be disclosed.

In the course of its inquiries, the newspaper relied on Mr Ingram's entry in the Parliamentary Register of Members' Interests, which had not been updated, and tried to contact Mr Ingram for his comment before publication.

Counsel said that Mr Ingram chose not to respond at that time. Now he had explained his position, the newspaper accepted that the allegation was not true and apologised.

Mr Stephenson said that the newspaper had agreed to pay compensation to Mr Ingram.