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Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Archer 'ended affair for Tory post'
Lord Archer
Lord Archer denies the charges against him
Lord Archer ended a long-running affair with an assistant when there was a chance he would be made deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, the Old Bailey has heard.

Andrina Colquhoun, addressed in court by her married name Waddington, told Lord Archer's perjury trial their relationship began in 1979 and fizzled out some years later.

Mrs Waddington, 48, worked for Lord Archer as his personal assistant from 1982 to 1984.

Asked if there was any connection between her leaving and the possibility of Lord Archer becoming Tory deputy chairman in 1985, she replied he thought it would be better if he "tidied up his personal life."

Andrina Waddington, formerly Andrina Colquhoun
Andrina Waddington: Relationship fizzled out
"He thought it was possible that he was in line for a job with the Conservative Party, which he always wanted," she told the court.

Mrs Waddington said the relationship had gradually faded away.

Nicholas Purnell QC, defending, asked: "By September 1986, there was no remaining romantic, sexual or anything other than a business relationship between you and Lord Archer at all?"

Mrs Waddington said that she continued to see Lord Archer from time to time, but her recollection was that "the relationship fizzled out, perhaps not completely".

"We continued to see each other but on a diminishing basis until 1987."


He thought... it would be better if he tidied up his personal life

Archer's former PA,
Andrina Waddington
She agreed that in 1986 she would stay overnight at Lord Archer's home in London "occasionally".

But Mrs Waddington denied dining with Lord Archer on the night in 1986, when he is accused of asking his friend Ted Francis for a false alibi.

Instead she said she had been in Greece on holiday with partner Robert Waddington, who she had met in 1985 and married in 1990.

'Horrified'

She said that after 1984 Lord Archer did not want to be seen with her in a restaurant.

She told the court how Lord Archer had phoned her before the News of the World printed a story in November 1999 in which his alibi was called into question.

Angela Peppiatt
Angela Peppiatt: Claims denied
"He told me prior to this story breaking in the News of the World I was going to be involved in the story.

"He said he was sorry. He had tried to keep my name out of it. I was horrified."

Mrs Waddington denied a series of statements made by Angela Peppiatt, the woman who succeeded her as Lord Archer's personal assistant and the chief prosecution witness.

She said it was not true that she was Lord Archer's mistress in 1986-87, that she frequently stayed in his flat on Sunday nights or that she hid photographs of his wife Mary.

'Split lives'

And she denied that Lord Archer had given her expensive presents paid for through Mrs Peppiatt's credit card.

She said she did not think Mrs Peppiatt's claim that the Archers led "split lives", with Lord Archer living with Mrs Waddington in London weekdays and with Lady Archer in Cambridgeshire at weekends was an accurate picture.

Mrs Waddington told the court her nickname for Lord Archer was Moon.

Lord Archer, 61, denies four counts of perverting the course of justice, two counts of perjury and one of using a diary as a false instrument.

They relate to his successful 1987 libel trial, when he was awarded 500,000 damages after denying newspaper allegations that he had slept with a prostitute in September 1986.

Television producer Mr Francis, 67, of Cranleigh, Surrey, denies one charge of perverting the course of justice.

The case continues.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Ms Colquhoun denied she was his live-in lover"
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