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London School of Economics chief quits over Gaddafi links

Friday March 04, 2011 11:33:33 AM, IANS

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London: The director of the London School of Economics (LSE) has resigned over the institute's links to the family of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, BBC reported Friday.

Howard Davies said the university's reputation had "suffered" and so he had to quit.

Stating that the decision to accept 300,000 pounds for research from a foundation run by Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, "backfired", Davies regretted visiting Libya to advise its regime about financial reforms.

Saif Gaddafi had studied at the LSE for his MSc and PhD.

Davies, a former head of the Financial Services Authority and deputy governor of the Bank of England, termed it a "personal error of judgement".

"I have concluded that it would be right for me to step down even though I know that this will cause difficulty for the institution I have come to love," he said.

"The short point is that I am responsible for the school's reputation, and that has suffered."

He said the decision to accept the money from Saif turned out to be a "mistake".

"I made a personal error of judgement in accepting the British government's invitation to be an economic envoy and the consequent Libyan invitation to advise their sovereign wealth fund," he said.

Peter Sutherland, chairman of the LSE's court of governors, said Davies had been an outstanding director.

The LSE council has commissioned an inquiry into the university's relationship with Libya and Saif. It will also establish guidelines for future donations.

Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and former chairman of the Council of University College London, has been appointed to carry out the inquiry.

 

 

 

 

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