Embattled bank executive no longer co-hosting London fund-raiser for Mitt Romney

WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney’s campaign says that Bob Diamond, the embattled chief executive of Barclays bank, will no longer be co-hosting a London fund-raiser for the presumptive Republican nominee.

Diamond, a Concord, Mass., native who oversees one of the world’s largest banks, has been embroiled in a rate-fixing scandal in Britain that is threatening to expand.

The bank’s chairman resigned on Monday, and some in Parliament have been calling on Diamond to quit as well. The government has launched an inquiry to find out if there was any criminal wrongdoing.

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The scandal involves manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, which is used to set the rates for a range of consumer products including mortgages, credit cards, and bank loans. Barclays has already been fined $453 million in a settlement with US and British authorities.

“Mr. Diamond decided to step aside as a co-host for the upcoming London reception to focus all his attention on Barclays,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “We respect his decision.”

Romney was planning to attend the fund-raiser when he is in town for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. The price for attending the dinner ranged from $25,000 to $75,000, according to the London Telegraph.

Diamond gave $2,500 to Romney last year and has donated to a variety of candidates, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, and Senator Scott Brown, a Massachusetts Republican.

The Romney campaign would not immediately say whether the fund-raiser was still in the works or who else would be co-hosting.

It’s not the first time Romney has run into potential trouble while raising money abroad. Last year, Romney supporters were planning a fund-raiser at the home of Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild—before she began supporting rival Jon Huntsman and started saying disparaging things about Romney.

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