`Distressed' Aitken asks local Tories to forgive him

Disgraced former minister Jonathan Aitken has asked local Tories in his old constituency to forgive him for the embarrassment he has caused them.

The former chief secretary to the Treasury and defence procurement minister - who is facing a Scotland Yard investigation into allegations of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice connected with his failed libel action against the Guardian newspaper and Granada Television - sent the message of contrition through Major John Thomas, a close friend and former chairman of the Thanet South constituency that he had represented for 20 years before losing to Labour at the election.

Major Thomas also said that he has received a letter from Mr Aitken's solicitor, Richard Sykes, which claims that the former minister had acted for entirely "honourable" reasons. The major said: "It must not be assumed just because he was lying, he was guilty ..."

Major Thomas said that party members in the constituency would now like their ex-MP to come forward and explain exactly what lay behind his allegations of libel.

"Jonathan is asking the members to forgive him for the whole unfortunate situation, and all the embarrassment he has caused to his colleagues and friends.

"He is very distressed by what had happened, and obviously he would not be able to make a return to political life immediately.

"Everything has happened to him at once. The court case went wrong, his marriage collapsed, and now he faces severe financial problems.

"It is very sad state of affairs but he obviously feels he has to make this gesture. It shows that he is not taking all this lightly.

"Local party members are very surprised by what has happened. And we would like to know what happened.

"He has had a lot of support from local people, and we are keen to find out exactly what happened.

"So many members have members have contacted us to express sorrow and sadness. It must not be assumed because he was lying that he was guilty".

"I have received a letter from Jonathan's solicitor Richard Sykes who says Jonathan did what he did for entirely `honourable reasons'."

Major Thomas said he was given the message from Mr Aitken when he visited the former minister's office in London.

He added that in his view Mr Aitken may well have been forced to mislead the court because of reasons of "personal and professional honour".

And he added: "Maybe he thought Lolicia had paid the bill. And then when he discovered she had not, it was too late. He did the honourable thing and did not continue with the case.

"Lolicia is certainly rather a strange woman. She was not like your average political wife. Jonathan tried to protect her as much as possible. But you cannot, of course, do it forever.

"It could well be the case that he was also there at Paris on sensitive, and confidential government business which he could not really discuss in open court. He would have been put in an impossible position."

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Life and Style
tech
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

Java Developer - web services, XML and API

£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style