Richard Branson bribe claim

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The Independent Online
The Virgin chief Richard Branson's claim that he was offered a bribe to step aside in the contest to run the national lottery was dismissed yesterday by Anne Rafferty QC, who was bought in to investigate the claim.

Ms Rafferty says Guy Snowden, of the American company G-Tech, part of the Camelot consortium that won the lottery contract, had no reason to regard Virgin's bid as a threat. Her report highlights the fact that Mr Branson initiated the contact between the two men and that he took two years to make public his allegations. "I am not able to find as a fact that there was any attempt to bribe Mr Branson on 24 September," she concludes. The report will be a blow to Mr Branson, who boycotted the investigation and is being sued for libel by Mr Snowden.