Roger Jenkins, former head of Barclays’ Middle Eastern business, apologised “for any inappropriate words” he may have used © Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Roger Jenkins apologised to financier Amanda Staveley for calling her a “tart” and admitted that his then wife Diana had been “jealous” of the press coverage of her role in a 2008 fundraising by Barclays.

The former Barclays banker has been testifying at London’s High Court as a witness for the bank in a £1.5bn lawsuit brought by Ms Staveley’s investment firm PCP over a 2008 fundraising from Qatar that allowed Barclays to avoid a UK government bailout.

PCP, which led a parallel fundraising from Abu Dhabi, alleges that Barclays struck secret side agreements with Qatar and says Abu Dhabi would not have invested in Barclays if it had known that Qatar had a different deal. Barclays denies the claim.

On Tuesday Mr Jenkins, who was head of Barclays’ Middle Eastern business and received £50m when he left the bank in 2009, was asked about comments he made during a phone call in October 2008.

In it he described Ms Staveley as a “tart” and another banker called her a “dollybird”. Mr Jenkins apologised today “for any inappropriate words” he may have used, Ms Staveley was in the courtroom at the time.

The banker was also accused by James Collins QC, barrister for PCP, of “propagating a false narrative” about introducing Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour as a potential investor in the fundraising, in order to “exaggerate your role and the role of your wife”. 

He was asked about an email sent in October 2008 to Bob Diamond, former Barclays’ president, in which Mr Jenkins said he had used his links with Qatar as well as a contact of his wife Diana to involve Sheikh Mansour.

“Your wife was jealous of Ms Staveley and the way she appeared in the press.” Mr Jenkins replied: “Yes.” 

Mr Jenkins told the court: “I was going through a difficult divorce. I exaggerated her role in an effort to save my marriage.”

Mr Collins put it to him that he had tried to diminish Ms Staveley's role in the Barclays fundraising. " Mr Jenkins replied: “No. Ms Staveley fulfilled a very good job as an adviser to Sheikh Mansour.”

He said that Diana Jenkins, who had an extensive social network, had introduced him to Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, then Qatar prime minister, in 2007 through the Sheikh’s wife who had “wanted to be in Diana’s circle”. 

The trial has already heard that Mr Jenkins complained about Ms Staveley taking the limelight from his ex-wife over the fundraising. The bank contends that Sheikh Hamad — not Ms Staveley — introduced Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour as an investor in October 2008 and Qatar was paid £66m for the introduction.

Mr Collins said: “Your wife did not orchestrate the capital raising.”

“Of course not,” Mr Jenkins replied.

The trial continues.

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