Purgatory for Archer as prison officials tell him to cut the publicity

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Jeffrey Archer, the disgraced Tory peer serving a jail sentence for perjury, has been forced to put plans on hold for a publicity campaign promoting the second volume of his prison diaries.

Prison Service officials have warned the millionaire author, who is to be released next month, to keep a low profile after being caught allegedly smuggling pages of his new manuscript out of prison.

Last week, Pan Macmillan, his publishers, confirmed that no date had been set for the publication of Archer's latest account of life in prison which has the working title "Wayland: Purgatory". This contradicts a statement by David North, managing director of Pan Macmillan, in February. He was reported to have said that he hoped to receive all of the manuscript pages before Archer's release and publish the book near to that date.

Curtis Brown, Archer's literary agents, also confirmed that no date had been set and that there would be no personal book signings by the author on the book's release.

It is understood that Archerplans to write three prison diaries. The first volume, Belmarsh: Hell, has sold more than 100,000 copies but publication earned him a reprimand from the Prison Service because Archer identified fellow inmates.

He was also temporarily moved from an open prison to Lincoln jail after attending a lunch party for his former colleague, and Tory MP, Gillian Shephard - again, deemed to be a breach of prison rules.

A senior prison source confirmed that Archer had been interviewed over allegedly smuggling out pages of his new diary but said he would be released from Hollesley Bay open prison at Woodbridge, Suffolk, on 21 July despite reports that the date had been put back.

"He is not a threat to the public and has been deemed suitable for release by the Parole Board. He has not had any special treatment over parole," said the source.

After his release, Archer must stay in contact with his probation officer, maintain good behaviour and seek permission to travel abroad or change his place of residence.

Max Clifford, the publicist, said he doubted that Archer would be in demand on the after-dinner speaking circuit.

"The general perception is that he is a likeable rogue and has paid his debt but I don't think his cause was helped by Mary Archer," he said. The novelist's wife has been campaigning to clear his name. Mr Clifford added: "A lot of people resented the fact that Archer was making money while being in prison. I expect exhibitionists and people who have nothing to lose will still associate with him but to others, he is just a reminder of Tory sleaze."

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