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BP lobbied Jack Straw over al-Megrahi

#1
Ah, that is the trouble with furious spinning: the wheels come off very quickly.

"Jack Straw was personally lobbied by BP over Britain’s prisoner transfer agreement with Libya just before he abandoned efforts to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from the deal.

The Times has learnt that the Justice Secretary took two telephone calls from Sir Mark Allen, a former M16 agent, who was by then working for BP as a consultant, on October 15 and November 9, 2007.

Having signed a $900 million oil exploration deal with Libya earlier that year, BP feared that its commercial interests could be damaged if Britain delayed the prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) through which the Gaddafi regime hoped to secure the return home of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi.

For six months, talks with Libya were deadlocked as Britain — under pressure from the devolved Scottish government — vainly sought to ensure that the deal would not cover al-Megrahi.

On December 19, 2007, Mr Straw wrote to Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Minister, to say that he had been unable to secure an exclusion for al-Megrahi from the deal. “The wider negotiations with the Libyans are reaching a critical stage and in view of the overwhelming interests for the United Kingdom I have agreed that in this instance the PTA should be in the standard form and not mention any individual,” he wrote. "


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6820931.ece
 
#2
Well, well - corporate lobbyists direct Government policy; there's a thing.

I could sort of understand the 'overwhelming interests for the United Kingdom' bit when such industries were nationalised, however I can't help feeling these days that the overwhelming interests belong primarily to large multinational investors. Were the UK Government to look to BP for some kind of help for British taxpayers, 'protecting shareholder value' & 'global interests' would, no doubt, be quoted as a reason to refuse.

The other overwhelming interest that seems to come into play is the interest of an MP in securing a job when he leaves.
 

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