LETTER : No mortgage False claims

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The Independent Online
I READ with astonishment the letter from The Cook Report's editor, Robert Southgate (Letters, 28 May) with its assertion that "we stand by our own investigations" into the claim that in the last quarter of 1984 "Arthur Scargill used Libyan money to make mortgage repayments".

This allegation, made by both The Cook Report and the Daily Mirror in 1990, was found by an inquiry headed by Gavin Lightman QC to be "entirely untrue" - not surprising in view of the fact that I had no mortgage in the last quarter of 1984.

Accountants KPMG, Stoy Hayward and Cork Gully all found The Cook Report's allegation to be false, a finding later endorsed in the courts where counsel for the certification officer in a case brought against the NUM and its national officials (abandoned with costs against the certification officer) acknowledged that there was no suggestion of dishonesty or personal gain on my part.

Finally, after an 18-month investigation, the Inland Revenue not only reached the same conclusion but together with the courts dismissed all the false allegations, including those made by The Cook Report, against me.

Arthur Scargill

President, NUM

Barnsley, S Yorks