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Tim Yeo loses libel action over 'cash for advocacy' claims

Former South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo Credit: PA

Former Tory MP Tim Yeo has lost his High Court libel action over a "cash for advocacy" claim in The Sunday Times which he said trashed his reputation.

Mr Yeo, 70, had asked for substantial compensation over three reports in The Sunday Times, in June 2013, which followed a lunch the previous month with two undercover journalists from the Insight team posing as representatives for a solar energy concern in the Far East.

They alleged that he was prepared to, and had offered to, act in a way that was in breach of the Commons code of conduct by acting as a paid parliamentary advocate who would push for new laws to benefit the business of a client for a daily fee of £7,000 and approach ministers, civil servants and other MPs to promote a client's private agenda in return for cash.

They also contained comment to the effect that he had shown willing to abuse his position to further his own financial and business interests.

Times Newspapers Ltd said that the articles were true, it was fair comment and also responsible journalism on matters of public interest.

Mr Yeo was not at London's High Court today when Mr Justice Warby dismissed his case.

Deselected Yeo warns of 'obsessives' and 'Ukip fear'

Conservative MP Tim Yeo has warned Prime Minister David Cameron not to be swayed by political "obsessives" in the party, or to change course in response to fear about the appeal of the UK Independence Party.

Tim Yeo, who was deselected by his constituency, has warned the Tories not to be swayed by 'obsessives' or UKIP Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Yeo, who was deselected by his constituency for the next General Election, said a shrinking grassroots membership was becoming ever more "extreme".

"If we allow Ukip and our fear of Ukip to be what drives our policy that will lead us undoubtedly to defeat," Mr Yeo told the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Yeo believes his pro-EU stance and his support for gay marriage and green policies contributed to deselection by his local party, after serving 30 years as an MP.


MP: 'Deselected for backing gay marriage and Europe'

Conservative MP Tim Yeo has suggested that his support for gay marriage, climate change work and pro-European stance may have affected the decision not to readopt him as the South Suffolk candidate for the next election.

Mr Yeo lost out in a secret ballot of more than 600 members of the constituency party despite receiving backing from David Cameron.

Yeo offers 'unqualified support' to successor

Tim Yeo said in a statement today:

It has been a privilege to serve as MP for South Suffolk since 1983. I will continue to work for all my constituents until the General Election next year.

I am immensely grateful to all those Conservative Party members who voted for me to continue as their MP. I now ask them all to campaign for my successor with the same loyalty and dedication they have shown to me.

I will give my full and unqualified support to whoever is chosen as the candidate here in South Suffolk. I wish him or her every success.

– Tim Yeo MP

Yeo 'to fight to retain seat' after dropped by local Tories

Tory MP and green enthusiast Tim Yeo is expected to appeal to Conservative supporters in a bid to save his political career, according to The Observer, after leaders of local party refused to re-adopt him as its candidate for the next general election.

Mr Yeo was recently reinstated as chairman of the influential Commons Energy Committee after being cleared of lobbying allegations.

Tory MP and green enthusiast Tim Yeo Credit: PA


Labour: Yeo deselection sign Tories 'reverting to type'

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth has said Tory MP Tim Yeo's deselection is another sign that "under David Cameron the Conservative Party is reverting to type".

Mr Yeo, who was recently reinstated as chairman of the Commons Energy Committee after being cleared of lobbying allegations, is said to be "considering his options" following the decision by the South Suffolk Conservative association.

Mr Ashworth said: "Just this week one Tory with modernising credentials has been deselected and another has quit, and David Cameron is trying to water down a green levy he introduced and even boasted about.

"It's more evidence of the death of Tory modernisation", he added.

Tim Yeo dropped by local South Suffolk Tory party

MP Tim Yeo is "considering his position" after losing a re-selection vote to be the Conservative candidate for South Suffolk at the next general election.

Conservative MP Tim Yeo has represented South Suffolk since 1983. Credit: PA

Mr Yeo was recently reinstated as chairman of the influential Commons Energy Committee after being cleared of lobbying allegations.

According to the Ipswich Star, the local party issued a statement saying:

“The executive council of the South Suffolk Conservative Association met on the evening of Friday, November 29 and voted not to re-adopt Tim Yeo for the 2015 general election.

“Mr Yeo is now considering his position and will advise the executive council of his intended course of action.”

Mr Yeo, 68, represented the constituency for three decades, and won an 8,600 majority in 2010.

In June he was caught up in a newspaper sting and faced allegations that he offered to lobby ministers and 'coached' a business associate who was due to give evidence to his committee, however he was cleared of wrong-doing by the cross-party standards committee.

If he does not accept the decision he can appeal or apply to be the new candidate when the selection process gets under way.

Police and Commons 'liaising closely' over Tim Yeo MP

Police are "liaising closely" with the Commons authorities over lobbying allegations against Tory MP Tim Yeo.

Scotland Yard said it was in touch with the parliamentary commissioner for standards, but the case had not been referred for criminal investigation.

We are liaising closely with the relevant parliamentary authorities.

– A Scotland Yard spokesman

Mr Yeo stepped aside as chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee last month after being accused of using his position to further business interests.

He has asked the commissioner to probe claims that he broke rules by offering "coaching" on how to present evidence to the committee, and insisted he expects to be cleared.

A police spokesman stressed the case had not been referred to police for investigation.

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