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Labour's Libyan Albatross

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When Colonel Gaddafi fled Tripoli last month he and his supporters were not the only ones living in fear. Either in the rush to leave - or in a last-ditch attempt to bring down those who had once been his friends - Gaddafi left behind a treasure trove of documents that would prove embarrassing to several major players in the West. The Telegraph, amongst others, has carried out sterling work in finding and publishing the startling new revelations.

The central allegation is that, in order to further trade interests, the previous Labour government put pressure on the Scottish Justice Secretary to release the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi. This is nothing new. But the new claims, outlined in the flow-chart below, raise important questions about the conduct of numerous political and business heavyweights past and present.

2011-09-30-Libyaflowchart.jpg

Although these links do not prove wrongdoing - and any misconduct has been denied by all of those allegedly involved - there are still key questions that remain unanswered:

• What was on the agenda at the meetings between Blair and Gaddafi since the former Prime Minister left office?
• Why were there five meetings before Al-Megrahi was released, and just one afterwards?
• Was it appropriate that Blair and Saif Gaddafi had such a close relationship?
• Is it merely coincidence that BP agreed a major oil deal with Libya just hours after Blair and Gaddafi had their meeting in the desert tent?
• Do the relationships between Blair, JP Morgan, Deripaska, Mandelson and the LIA represent a conflict of interest?

The Libya affair has been a murky chapter in the history of the last Labour government; the documents unearthed over recent weeks have hardly made things look any less shady.

Until these questions are answered Labour will always have a Libyan albatross hanging around its neck.