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Cambridge University halts £400m deal with UAE over Pegasus spyware claims

Exclusive: UK institution was in line for huge donation but has paused talks due to concerns Gulf state used hacking software

The University of Cambridge has broken off talks with the United Arab Emirates over a record £400m collaboration after claims about the Gulf state’s use of controversial Pegasus hacking software, the university’s vice-chancellor has said.

The proposed deal, hailed by the university in July as a “potential strategic partnership … helping to solve some of the greatest challenges facing our planet” – would have included the largest donation of its kind in the university’s history, spanning a decade and involving direct investment from the UAE of more than £310m.

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