London: The Tony Blair-led Labour government in Britain had tried to pressurise Oxford University into giving Saif Gaddafi, son of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, a place to study, but the institution refused because Saif was "not bright enough", claims a professor.
Valpy FitzGerald, head of the department for international development, said he was contacted by a senior foreign office official in 2002 asking to take 38-year-old Saif for a master`s degree in developmental economics or development studies.
FitzGerald told the official there were concerns about Saif`s academic ability.
He said Saif had no social science training and his degree did not meet the requisite quality standard, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
The revelation came after the London School of Economics (LSE) accepted a 1.5-million-pound "donation" from Saif, despite evidence the money came from bribes paid by foreign businesses to secure lucrative work in Libya, the daily said.
The donation was formally accepted on the same day Saif received his PhD at the LSE.
A government report said Saif`s academic career in London was littered with complaints of cheating. But despite the allegations, a review by the University of London said Saif should not be stripped of his PhD.
Saif was captured by rebels following the death of his father in October. He will now be put on trial.