Diary: MPs attack LSE chairman over Gaddafi gift


Two senior MPs have called for the resignation of Peter Sutherland, chairman of the London School of Economics, as the controversy about the school's involvement with Libya's Gaddafi regime refuses to go away.

Labour's Barry Sheerman, who has been a governor of the LSE for 20 years, and Tory MP Richard Shepherd, a former LSE student, have written a letter accusing him of having "failed to fully understand the gravity of the situation or to respond adequately to the questions that members of the Court have been raising".

There have been two high-profile departures from the LSE since a scandal blew up over a £1.5m gift from a trust controlled by Saif Gaddafi, the former dictator's son. Sir Howard Davies, director of the LSE, resigned last March, and Professor David Held, Saif Gaddafi's academic adviser, left this month.

But Sutherland is still there. He has a talent for hanging on. In 2009, he faced down calls for his resignation as chairman of BP from shareholders unimpressed by his record as a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland up until its collapse. The two MPs, both veteran parliamentarians, argue that the LSE cannot rebuild its worldwide reputation under his chairmanship.

Tory dinosaurs are getting younger

The Tory MP Aidan Burley has had difficulties in his constituency over that stag party he attended where his friends dressed in Nazi uniforms. But he was in congenial company at the launch in the House of Commons of the Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC).

This body aims to end the practice under which some trade union representatives in the public sector are paid for union activity conducted in working hours.

Its founders are Mr Burley, and Mark Clarke, the former Conservative candidate in Tooting, London, another ambitious young Tory with form. He had a brief relationship with a fellow Tory, Sarah Gill, who afterwards complained to the Mail on Sunday about his bad behaviour, and said the Conservatives and Tooting deserved someone better. The Morning Star featured the TURC meeting on its front page under the heading "Tory Dinosaurs Launch War on Unions" – but that is just not true. These are young guys. They are the Conservative future, a gross attitude to women and ignorance of the Holocaust notwithstanding.

Short, sweet speech is a Pure joy

In addition to picking up the Costa book of the year award for his sixth novel, Pure, Andrew Miller deserves some kind of citation for delivering one of the shortest acceptance speeches on record.

He thanked his publisher and agent, told the assembled luvvies at Quaglino's restaurant that it felt strange to be there after spending three years shut away in his room writing – and then shut up. It lasted barely two minutes.

'Lily' of the Vale is not a happy leader

The Coalition partners maintain a public face of happy solidarity at Cabinet level, but relations are not so good in Aylesbury Vale, in Buckinghamshire, where the Liberal Democrat leader, Steven Lambert, who came out as gay 20 years ago, has complained to the police about four Tory councillors who, he alleges, have been calling him "Lily". They deny it.

Lib Dem's spot of bother in lobby loo

Liberal Democrat Local Government Minister Andrew Stunell is viewed across the House as an amiable cove, but was unlucky during a debate on the Local Government Finance Bill on Tuesday night.

Stunell wanted to refill his ministerial carafe of water and went into the Members' lobby loo, clutching his empty carafe and looking – one MP joked – like a man who was ready "to give a urine sample".

Then disaster struck. A vote was called, doorkeepers raised the cry of "lock the doors", and as the minister emerged from the toilet he found himself in the "Aye" lobby with Labour MPs. The entrance was locked, and if he left through the exit, he risked being recorded as voting against the government. His plight caused a 15-minute hiatus, as Stunell pleaded to join his own side, with fellow minister, Simon Burns, shouting encouragement.

A Labour MP, Jamie Reed, recorded the moment on twitter. "In the words of Simon Burns, like the spurned lover behind glass in a prison film, 'Stay there Andrew! They can't make you go through!'"

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk