Archer to live in London penthouse after release from prison

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The Independent Online

Lord Archer will live at his London penthouse rather than at his family home when he is released from prison, probation sources revealed yesterday.

The former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party leaves Hollesley Bay open prison in Suffolk on Monday after serving two years and two days of a four-year sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

He has asked probation officers to register his address as the penthouse he owns on the Albert Embankment, near the Houses of Parliament and scene of his renowned Krug and shepherd's pie parties.

His return to London defies the assumption that he would return to his £1.5m country residence, the Old Vicarage, near Cambridge, where Lady Archer lives. In his last few months inside prison, he has visited almost every week.The choice will fuel rumours that Archer will try to relaunch his political career on release.

Probation sources said Archer would be supervised. One condition of his licence will be that he lives at his "designated address". He will need permission to spend time away from his London home, in order to visit his wife and sons at the 17th-century countryside property. He will have to report every week for the first month, followed by fortnightly appointments for the next two months, and then monthly visits for the next year.

He will be barred from foreign travel except in exceptional circumstances and if he misses more than two appointments, he could be fined or even recalled to prison.

His probation officer must approve any kind of paid work Archer undertakes. This is likely to include royalties from the second volume of his prison diaries, likely to be announced by his publisher next week.

Despite his prison sentence, Archer has managed to eat meals with members of prison staff, and landed a daytime placement at a local theatre.