Jack Straw has admitted that the Government caved in to Libyan demands to include the Lockerbie bomber in a prisoner transfer deal.
The Justice Secretary said that he originally wanted Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi omitted from the agreement, but then relented, deciding the bomber should be eligible.
He said that the Libyans deserved “something” in return for giving up their nuclear weapons programme, but vehemently denied striking a “backdoor deal” over Megrahi.
Shortly after the reversal of Britain’s stance, a multi-billion pound oil exploration agreement between Libya and BP was rubber-stamped.
Mr Straw insisted that the disclosures were a “red herring” as Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, made the final decision on Megrahi’s release.Opposition parties are calling the release of the Lckerbie bomber a "terrorist for trade" deal.