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Tuesday, 21 December, 1999, 17:57 GMT
Hamilton verdict - reaction at-a-glance

Neil and Christine Hamilton The Hamiltons arrive at court for their date with destiny


Neil Hamilton has lost his libel battle with Mohamed al-Fayed after an epic five-week hearing at the High Court. BBC News Online presents an at-a-glance guide to the reaction.

Libel Trial
Mohamed al-Fayed"Christmas has come early. This is total vindication."

Neil Hamilton, asked if he was broke "Yup".

Christine Hamilton The jury are wrong is all I want to say - we are not corrupt."

George Carman, QC "I think this jury has given this case very great and careful consideration and it has confirmed my belief in the value of the jury system in this country."

The Hamiltons' solicitor, Rupert Gray "We need a chance to regroup and recover our thoughts. This is a surprise result to the Hamiltons."

Conservative party chairman Michael Ancram "I have noted the verdict of the jury and I hope that this is the end of a sad and unpleasant episode which has been damaging to our party."

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger "The Guardian's reporting exposed the mire of MPs on the take in the mid to late eighties and led to the setting up of the Nolan Commission into standards in public life. Our original reporting has never been shaken despite the slurs of Mr Hamilton, his friends and his legal team."

Mr al-Fayed "He knows he is corrupt. People like that should never be in power."

Mr Al Fayed's spokesman, Laurie Meyer "Mr al-Fayed regards this verdict as a great victory for honesty in public life. He was vilified for being a Jekyll and Hyde character but the jury saw through it."

Mr Hamilton "It is the beginning of a new road, I'm not sure where it leads but I will find out."

Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat campaigns chief "This is a timely demonstration of the decay which has rotted the modern Conservative Party right up to ministerial level."

Independent MP Martin Bell, who defeated Mr Hamilton at the last election "I feel genuinely sorry for Neil and Christine Hamilton. I am after all their constituency MP."

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