Archer asks for pounds 50m gifts to be credited to his account

Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare bounced back off the ropes again yesterday, saying he was neither genius nor saint, but he had raised more than pounds 50m for charity.

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 ..."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable