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.
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.