Letter: And the oysters were Abbotsburies

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The Independent Online
WE WERE naturally very pleased with your cover story 'The Scallywag affair' (Review, 26 September). However, there were a few minor inaccuracies. First, our solicitor, David Price, never agreed to act for us for nothing. It would have been most imprudent of him to have done so. Under our archaic libel laws, should the 'other' side have won costs he would have been directly liable for them. Price had enough faith in the case to know that we would elicit some public support for our libel fund, which proved to be the case.

Second, our now controversial meeting with Michael Mates. It is true that we asked John Blake to arrange the venue and pick up the tab but we intended to discuss various matters with Mates, completely off the record. Somehow that meeting got hijacked and we were not fully in control of it.

The publishing of the Clare Latimer dildo pictures was a complete surprise to us. We knew they existed but not where they were, and there was no collusion between us or anyone else to have them published. Lastly, Angus Wilson did not say we intended to haunt the Prime Minister 'until kingdom come'. That would indicate malice on our part whereas, in reality, we are bored to death with the action and with him.

On a personal note, they were Abbotsbury oysters, not Colchester. Abbotsburies are tastier and cheaper.

Simon Regan

Editor, Scallywag

London NW3

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