Diamond washed his hands of any dirt by telling the MPs committee that he only found out about the true extent of the rigging this month.

Diamond resigned as Barclays chief executive on Tuesday in the wake of the interest rate-fixed scandal, called the behaviour of those responsible “reprehensible”.

He said he felt ‘physically sick’ when reading emails from traders that revealed what they had been doing.

He defended the bank’s actions to address the problem when it was first discovered.

“As soon as we recognised (the problem) three years ago…we said ‘let’s get to the bottom of this,’” he said.

The MPs committee is specifically questioning who knew what and when. They are also trying to define what role the Bank of England and the previous government had in the rate-fixing scandal.

Diamond said regulatory agencies involved, including the Financial Services Authority in the UK and US authorities, ‘applauded our co-operation’.

“This is not coming out in the court of public opinion,” he added.

In 2008 the manipulation of Libor began around the time Barclays was raising funds privately in the Middle East, avoiding taking emergency loans from the government like a number of other UK banks during the onset of the financial crisis.

Barclays is also being investigated for manipulating Libor rates to increase profit as far back as 2005.

Diamond’s resignation came less than a week after Barclays was fined £290m for its role in Libor manipulation.

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