THE ARCHER AFFAIR: Friends say there are more twists in the plot Political oblivion

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The Independent Online
HAVING SPENT every waking hour of the past two years, plus up to pounds 1m on his campaign to become elected mayor of London, the immediate future looks bleak for Jeffrey Archer.

William Hague in effect read the last rites over his political career last night by withdrawing the whip from him in the House of Lords and instigating an inquiry into allegations against him.

Yet, like Bill Clinton and Peter Mandelson, the millionaire novelist is a Comeback Kid par excellence and his friends were declaring that he was not quite finished yet.

"He has creativity and vision and energy and he is going to be coming back and using that because that's the whole point of his life," said Stephan Shakespeare, his press spokesman. "There is never an end for Jeffrey, just another chapter."

Now that the politics appears finally over, Lord Archer may simply throw himself into some of his other pet projects. He made his mark in public life by persuading the Beatles to back a World Hunger campaign in the 1960s, and he is undoubtedly a gifted fund-raiser. He raised a "fortune" for Oxfam in its early days and substantial funds for Kurdish refugees after the Gulf War.

He could now use his skills to help a range of charities, although it is doubtful any high-profile organisation would take him on in an official capacity.

As a former sprinter for Oxford University and Great Britain, he has always retained an interest in sport and would have the administrative background to run a major sporting body. He will retain his job as president of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

Most likely option is that he will throw himself into writing his novels, which rescued him from his first, catastrophic downfall in 1974 when he was declared bankrupt.

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