Archer `a liar and cheat' claims friend

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The Independent Online
A FORMER confidante of Jeffery Archer last night claimed that his one-time friend is a liar and an adulterer who bought his way out of trouble.

Michael Stacpoole maintains Lord Archer gave him pounds 40,000 to flee the country so he would be unable to give evidence in the disgraced Tory peer's libel trial against the Daily Star ten years ago. He also claims that Lord Archer offered to pay him half of any damages won in the case.

Mr Stacpoole, 61, told the Mail on Sunday that Lord Archer misled the trial jury about the state of his marriage and had a five-year affair with his personal assistant Andrina Colquhoun. He told the newspaper of nights on the town with Lord Archer in which the peer consorted with nightclub hostesses. He claims that on one occasion he was summoned to Conservative Party Central Office after officials became concerned that Lord Archer had been "had been caught going with a prostitute".

"If I had been asked under oath if Archer was a faithful husband I would have had to confirm he was not because of his affairs with other women," he said.

It was Mr Stacpoole, the millionaire novelist's right hand man and fixer, who delivered pounds 2,000 in a brown envelope to prostitute Monica Coghlan at Victoria station.

"What I had to say would have ruined Archer," claimed Mr Stacpoole. "He took steps he believed would ensure my story never came out."

Mr Stacpoole also claims that Lord Archer rewarded key defence witness Terence Baker, who provided him with an alibi for the night Ms Coghlan alleged she had spent with him, by allowing him to sell the novelist's TV rights.

If Mr Stacpoole's allegations are proven, Lord Archer faces possible prosecution for perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. If convicted he would almost certainly go to jail.