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What’s in a name?

December 13, 2013

Private Eye No 1355

13th December 2013 page 31

Following on from some paragraphs about the high cost of renaming Leeds Met …

“Not to be outdone, the separate University of Leeds then announced on 29 November that it was to name its new undergraduate library after a living, sex-addicted, tax dodging Tory donor and peer, Lord Irvine Laidlaw. Leeds graduate Lord Laidlaw recently gave the university £9m, its largest ever donation.

A previous £1.15m donation by Lord Laidlaw to the university in 2011, to fund two scholarship schemes prompted the Leeds Student newspaper to call for tighter restrictions on whose donations would be accepted.

The multi-millionaire was criticised by the House of Lords Appointments Commission for failing to give up his tax exile status in Monaco despite promising to do so on becoming a life peer in 2004 (Eyes passim). While ducking tax on the £700m sale of his events business, he has donated millions to the Conservative party as a whole and the Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign. In 2008 he announced that he was seeking treatment for sex addiction after the News of the World revealed that he was flying in pricey prostitutes for champagne-fuelled orgies – hopefully not the kind of thing that will be happening in the new Laidlaw Library.”

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