News | University receives £9m donation from controversial Tory peer

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The University has received its biggest ever donation from Tory peer Lord Laidlaw.

Laidlaw is a controversial figure, having been publicly criticised for tax avoidance and coming under media scrutiny for allegedly hosting sex parties with prostitutes.

The former Leeds Economics student has donated £9 million towards the new library, which will be named the Laidlaw Library.

Lord Laidlaw said: “The plans for this magnificent new library have given me the opportunity to really cement my connection to an institution which gave me so much. I am looking forward to visiting Leeds soon and seeing it taking shape.”

The Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands said: “This is exciting news. Irvine Laidlaw is a committed supporter of the University and the library will become a permanent reminder of his generosity.” Lord Laidlaw has donated to the University in the past, including a £1.15 million donation to fund two scholarship schemes in November 2011.

The four storey library, due to open in the spring of 2015, will also provide a new home for some of the University’s outreach work with the local community.

Rehema Figueiredo

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