Email links Lockerbie bomber’s prison transfer to £400m Libyan arms deal
An email has emerged suggesting a connection between the prisoner transfer deal negotiated between Libya and the last Labour government, that could have allowed the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, and a £400m arms deal.
The document, which shows that Sir Vincent Fean, the then British ambassador to Libya, wrote to Tony Blair in June 2008 saying that the prisoner transfer agreement was “ready for signature in London” as soon as Libya went ahead with the purchase of an air defence system, was obtained by the Sunday Telegraph.
The release of Megrahi, who eventually died in May 2012, provoked outrage in the US and elsewhere. At the time ministers rejected claims that the decision to allow him to return home was influenced by commercial concerns, but the new email, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, suggests the Foreign Office was trying to link the two issues. Read more
Andrew Sparrow | The Guardian | 28th July 2013
Exclusive: Commons to review its extensive use of zero-hours contracts
More than 150 staff at the House of Commons are employed on controversial zero hours contracts, despite growing calls by MPs for tougher rules to prevent workers being exploited by them.
A freedom of information request revealed that 155 Commons employees are on standby without a guaranteed minimum number of hours, including catering workers, computer staff and visitor assistants. Labour MPs are now calling for the contracts to be scrapped and Commons managers are to review their use. Read more
Andrew Grice | The Independent | 28th July 2013