Home > General > David Miliband: Saif Gaddafi’s LSE lecture ‘horrific’

David Miliband: Saif Gaddafi’s LSE lecture ‘horrific’

(BBC) — Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said it is “horrific” that a London School of Economics lecture in his father’s name was delivered by Saif Gaddafi.

The university has been criticised for accepting money from the Libyan regime of Saif’s father, Col Muammar Gaddafi. An inquiry is to be held by Lord Woolf.

LSE director Sir Howard Davies has resigned over the controversy.

The Ralph Miliband memorial lecture was given by Saif Gaddafi last May.

Mr Miliband, who died in 1994, was a Marxist academic at the LSE who fled to Britain in the 1940s to avoid persecution from the Nazis.

His elder son told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “It’s horrific.

“The Ralph Miliband Programme at the LSE was founded by a former student of my dad’s in the 1950s.

“He’d learnt more in the seminars of my dad – who was obviously on the left – about the right because my dad believed in showing all sides of opinion.

‘Not ashamed’

“The idea of Saif Gaddafi giving a lecture under his name is just horrific to him and horrific to the whole family, obviously.”

Mr Miliband added: “I think there’s a wider issue – the LSE has announced an inquiry into whether at any stage their academic independence has been compromised.

“It’s very important that that’s carried through.”

Sir Howard resigned as LSE director last week, admitting that the decision to accept £300,000 for research from a foundation run by Saif Gaddafi had “backfired”.

Senior figures at the LSE say they are “embarrassed” to have made deals with and accepted donations from elements of the Gaddafi regime, but many observers think such actions are the inevitable result of pressure to find wealthy partners.

However the university said in a statement: “We are not ashamed of trying to help the people of Libya develop their economy and their infrastructure to improve their health services.”

Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf’s independent inquiry is due to look into the extent of LSE’s links with Libya.

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