Sunday Times in libel payout to ex-defence minister

The Sunday Times today apologised to former Labour MP and defence minister Adam Ingram and agreed to pay damages over claims he made corrupt payment's to Colonel Gaddafi's son.

Ingram brought libel proceedings against the broadsheet over an article published on 27 November headlined 'MP's £100,000 gift to Gadaffi son", which suggested illicit payments were made to Saif Gaddafi.

The article related to donations made to the London School of Economics by a foundation controlled by Saif Gaddafi, which were subsequently the subject of an independent Inquiry by the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf.

Ingram's lawyer Andrew Stephenson, of Carter Ruck, told the High Court today: 'The true position is that Mr Ingram was not responsible for making any unlawful or improper payment whether to Saif Gaddafi, to his foundation or otherwise".

Sunday Times counsel Jonathan Sherbel-Ball confirmed the Sunday Times accepted that the allegation was not true and issued an apology before before Mr Justice Eady.

According to Carter Ruck, the Court was told that Times Newspapers had also agreed to pay compensation to Ingram. Under the offer of amends procedure the amount, if not agreed, will be decided by a judge at a separate hearing.

The paper published the following apology on 26 February: 'In 'MP's £100,000 gift to Gadaffi son' (News, November 27) it was reported that Adam Ingram, the former MP and defence minister, was non-executive chairman of Argus Scotland when an alleged payment of £100,000 was made to Saif al-Islam Gadaffi's foundation for a proposed donation to the London School of Economics.

'Mr Ingram says he ceased to be non-executive chairman in July 2009 and that if such a payment was made by Argus Scotland, he knew nothing about it and did not arrange it. We apologise to Mr Ingram.'

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