MP urges Lady Archer to quit

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LADY ARCHER, under investigation over her role in the Anglia TV shares affair involving her husband, Lord Archer, should resign from the board of the television company, a local MP urged yesterday.

Jamie Cann, Labour MP for Ipswich, has written to Anglia's chairman, David McCall, arguing that her position is 'untenable'. But the head of the City stockbroking firm that handled Lord Archer's share deals said she had done nothing wrong.

The Stock Exchange is investigating whether Lady Archer, a non-executive director of Anglia TV, did enough under its 'Yellow Book' rules to prevent her husband from getting involved in share dealings before the pounds 292m takeover of the television company. Lord Archer ordered 50,000 Anglia shares on behalf of a Kurdish friend, Broosk Saib, at the time of the takeover, and sold them five days later at a profit of pounds 80,000. Last week, the millionaire author admitted that allowing his name to be used in the purchase was 'a grave error' and he publicly apologised to his wife through a lawyer.

In his letter to Anglia TV's chairman, Mr Cann says: 'I believe that Lord Archer's admitted 'grave error' in his dealings has, in his words, 'embarrassed Lady Archer' and has made her position on the board untenable.

'As you will be aware, it is not just her duty not to pass on information to her husband - under Yellow Book rules she has a duty to prevent her husband from being involved in Anglia share dealings during the takeover period.'

Lady Archer, who was present at the Anglia TV board meeting on 12 January when the MAI takeover terms were discussed, has told the company she did not pass on inside information to her husband. David Howard, managing director of the City stockbroking firm Charles Stanley, through which the Tory peer bought the shares, revealed himself yesterday as 'an admirer' of Lady Archer. 'None of the evidence we have put together suggests that she was involved in this.'