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The BBC's Robin Oakley
"Lord Archer still has to face the music"
 real 28k

Editor of The Daily Star, Peter Hill
"Legal action is inevitable"
 real 28k

The BBC's Nick Higham
"Daily Star's front page says we want our money back with interest"
 real 28k

Max Clifford, Publicist
"You have to wait until tomorrow"
 real 28k

Mark Stephens from law firm Stephen Innocent
"Any prosecution would stand a low chance of success"
 real 28k

Conservative Party Chairman Michael Ancram
"I feel let down"
 real 28k

Monday, 22 November, 1999, 23:38 GMT
Paper to challenge Archer ruling
Lord Archer: Could be prosecuted

The Daily Star newspaper is to launch an appeal against the libel case it lost to the disgraced Tory politician Lord Archer.

The newspaper was forced to pay 500,000 to the millionaire novelist in 1987 after claiming he slept with a prostitute.


This is the end of politics for Jeffrey Archer. I will not tolerate behaviour like this is in my party.
William Hague, Tory leader
Executives at the paper said they were disputing the judgment on the basis of new evidence.

The news came after Lord Archer had the Conservative whip withdrawn in the Lords. He already faces a possible police investigation into claims that he primed a friend to lie for him in the same court case.

The paper's editor, Peter Hill, is demanding that Lord Archer repay the money he received in damages and pay the costs for the trial as well as the interest - a sum he estimates at 3m.

In a statement, the Daily Star said: "We have instructed our lawyers to prepare an application for an appeal to the Court of Appeal to reopen the verdict in the 1987 libel trial brought by Lord Archer against this newspaper on the basis of fresh evidence."

Criminal investigation

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard said it had opened an investigation into allegations of conspiracy to perjure made against Lord Archer by the Daily Star.

The inquiry will be led by the detective who helped jail Jonathan Aitkin for perjury.

The appointment of Detective Superintendent Geoff Hunt was described as "purely coincidental" by a Scotland Yard spokesman.

Lord Archer is also facing a grilling by the Tory party's own ethics and integrity committee, which could see him expelled from the party he was served for decades.

In addition further revelations about the novelist's colourful past are expected to surface over the next few days.

The ethics committee will examine Lord Archer's earlier statement, made when putting himself forward to stand as Tory candidate for London mayor that no further embarrassing episodes from his life could emerge.

Tory leader William Hague said in a BBC interview that his party would not tolerate such behaviour.


It is a terrible indictment of Mr Hague. If he had acted at the beginning and summoned Archer for the grilling his past conduct deserves, this need never have happened.
Michael Crick, unauthorised biographer of Lord Archer
Party chairman Michael Ancram said the mayoral candidate's resignation showed the party's determination to tackle sleaze.

He confirmed that the committee could recommend Lord Archer's expulsion from the Conservative Party.

The peer admitted on Saturday he had asked a friend to lie for him before the libel trial and although the evidence was not needed in court, charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice could be brought.

The Tories' troubles are not eased by the absence of an obvious heavy-hitting candidate to take over as its mayoral candidate.

Possible contenders
Steven Norris
Virginia Bottomley
Archie Norman
Sebastian Coe
Runner-up in the past selection contest, former transport minister Steven Norris, is yet to state whether he will stand again after the party decided to start again.

Former Prime Minister John Major dismissed reports he might go for the post. But Olympic medal winner Sebastian Coe, millionaire businessman Archie Norman and former Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley are still considering their chances.

Mr Ancram said he hoped new candidates would emerge in coming weeks and claimed the episode showed the party had a system in place to tackle damaging allegations.

Max Clifford: The man behind the scandal, again
But the publicist who led to Lord Archer's downfall, Max Clifford, suggested the scandal may have just begun.

The peer's former friend, Ted Francis, who sold his story of providing a false alibi to The News of the World, would make a further statement on Tuesday, he said.

Two other past associates of Lord Archer have also approached the PR man to reveal their stories.

"All I know is it's if you like more of the same - people who have known Jeffrey Archer for a long time who have known things about him that will come out," Mr Clifford said
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See also:
22 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Hague faces toughest test
22 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
First test for ethics panel
22 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Who now for London Tories?
22 Nov 99 |  UK
Ted Francis - Archer whistleblower
22 Nov 99 |  UK
Bullseye for Clifford's arrow
22 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Will Archer face criminal charges?
21 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Q&A: Archer's legal dilemma
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Hague left fuming as Archer falls
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Profile: Jeffrey Archer
21 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Hague under pressure over Archer
21 Nov 99 |  UK
Love is: Marriage to Jeffrey
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Archer statement in full
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
A mayor for the millennium

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