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Conservative Treasurer Corruptly Offered Meetings With Prime Minister For Cash

Peter Cruddas has lost the main part of his libel case.

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A former co-treasurer of the Conservative party corruptly offered the opportunity to meet with David Cameron to rich individuals who would donate to Tory funds, a court has found.

In a long-running libel case against the Sunday Times, the court on Tuesday ruled that Peter Cruddas "corruptly offered for sale the opportunity to influence government policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with the prime minister and other senior ministers".

However, the court decided that Cruddas, a successful businessman, was libelled by a separate claim that he was willing to illegally accept funds from foreign donors.

Cruddas will now have to hand back £130,000 of the £180,000 he won from the Sunday Times in an earlier judgment.

The case relates to a front page story published in 2012, written by the journalists Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake. Last week Blake joined BuzzFeed News as UK investigations editor.

Cruddas has been refused permission to appeal and issued a statement saying he remains "the overall winner of my action", since he will still be receiving damages from the newspaper.

BREAKING: Court of Appeal finds ex Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas *did* corruptly offer for sale secret meetings with the prime minister

S.Times has fought for 3 yrs to defend articles exposing Cruddas's offer of access, chances to influence policy & insider info to big donors

Judges: Cruddas's offer of secret access to PM, info & chance to influence policy for £250k was "inappropriate, unacceptable and wrong"

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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