The controversial research paper that sparked an international scare over MMR vaccine was yesterday withdrawn by The Lancet medical journal, 12 years after it was published.

The Lancet said it had taken the decision following last week's preliminary verdict by a disciplinary panel of the General Medical Council which found the lead author, Andrew Wakefield, and two of his co-authors had acted "dishonestly" and "irresponsibly" in carrying out their research.

Debate on this issue is now closed.