Archer asks for pounds 50m gifts to be credited to his account
Wednesday 10 June 1998
A potential Tory candidate for the post of mayor of London, Lord Archer's background has been referred for investigation by the Tories' new ethics and integrity committee - set up by William Hague in order to protect the reputation of the party.
Last night, in the London Evening Standard, Lord Archer replied to charges that had been levelled against him by Paul Foot, the campaigning journalist, on 26 March, headlined by the Standard at the time: "Why this man is unfit to be mayor."
Describing the allegations as "trivialities", Lord Archer said: "Heaven knows I made mistakes in my life. I am neither genius nor saint. But perhaps future profiles might mention that over recent years, I have raised more than pounds 50m for charity, never once claiming even my expenses. Just last year, I raised pounds 2m as a charity auctioneer."
He accepted that in a democracy anyone seeking public office opened themselves up to "endless attacks - some fair, some unfair" - but he indicated that he had not yet made his mind up about mayoral office.
As part of his replies to Mr Foot, Lord Archer said:
He never claimed his father had won the Distinguished Conduct Medal until the DCM League had mistakenly informed him that he had.
He did not get any A-levels, nor did he mislead Oxford University by telling them that he had, but he was a full member of Brasenose College, and did obtain a full blue in athletics.
He did not pass himself off as a research graduate for his marriage certificate, but the chaplain who had conducted the wedding ceremony must have misunderstood.
He had mistakenly thought he was the youngest member of the Greater London Council in 1967, and he had helped some councillors with their expense claim forms, "and the sums would have been minuscule".
Yes, he had mistakenly claimed that he was the youngest MP in the Commons after he won the Louth by-election in December 1969.
It was complete fiction that he systematically fiddled his expenses when fund-raising for the UN Association. He had raised several million pounds for the organisation and there had been an expenses "discrepancy" of around pounds 80.
In the early Seventies, he had been "conned" into making a bad investment in a Canadian company, Aquablast. He had refused to become a bankrupt, had taken up novel-writing, and had paid off his creditors over seven years.
He had been innocent of insider dealing over Anglia Television shares; DTI inspectors had investigated the matter, and he had not been charged.
And he had been awarded pounds 500,000 libel damages over the Monica Coghlan "matter", and had given the money to charity.
Lord Archer also said that he had been stopped in a Toronto store 25 years ago. "I was carrying two suits on their hangers over my shoulder, and was looking for the shirt department ... I had no intention of taking anything without paying... and I was not arrested, charged, nor did I admit to any theft because I had not stolen anything ..."
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...