Outgoing boss to be paid by lottery

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The Independent Online
THE financial settlement for former lottery regulator Peter Davis, who resigned at the end of the Richard Branson libel trial, will come from lottery money, the Government confirmed last night.

Mr Davis resigned last month in the wake of Richard Branson's libel victory against American businessman Guy Snowden, whose firm, GTech Corporation, had a big stake in lottery operators Camelot. Mr Branson said Mr Snowden tried to bribe him to drop his bid to run the lottery for no profit. He criticised Mr Davis for not investigating the bribe. Mr Davis stepped down as National Lottery director-general after meeting Culture Secretary Chris Smith and agreeing it was important to maintain public confidence in the lottery.

Last night the Culture Secretary confirmed in a written Commons reply that the financial settlement for Mr Davis would come from lottery money. The Culture Department later said that settlement would probably be less than pounds 50,000.

A spokesman said he understood the Office of the National Lottery (Oflot) had agreed to continue paying Mr Davis until October.

The department spokesman also played down the significance of Mr Smith's disclosure, saying lottery money, in the form of the National Lottery Distribution Fund, financed all Oflot salaries in any case. The decision is likely to be questioned by some at Westminster who believed the lottery's image was irreparably damaged by the trial.

r The winning numbers in last night's National Lottery were 16,23,28,33,22,37. The bonus number was 17.