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Monday, 30 April, 2001, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Disgraced Aitken moves out
Jonathan Aitken
Mr Aitken fell on his "simple sword of truth"
The humiliating fall of disgraced former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken is set to be completed with the removal of the last few belongings from his former Westminster house.

The funds raised from the sale of the 2m property will be used to pay back some of the huge debts incurred by his failed libel action against the Guardian newspaper and Granada television.

Jonathan Aitken leaving his Westminster house
Mr Aitken's house is estimated to be worth as much as 2m
Mr Aitken, who served seven months in prison in 1999 for perjury, has already been forced to sell many of his personal items after being declared bankrupt.

An auction last week raised more than 16,000, including 5,000 for a pair of Chinese porcelain figures.

Ownership of the seven-bedroom, four-storey house had already been transferred to Mr Aitken's trustees in bankruptcy, Baker Tilly, but members of the family have remained living there until recently.

In a statement issued through his spokesman on Monday, Mr Aitken said: "I and my family have had this house as a happy family home over 20 years, and I now wish the new purchaser and his family every happiness in their new home."

Final chapter

The completion of the sale of the Georgian townhouse, which was used as a base throughout much of his political rise - and subsequent downfall - will signal the final chapter in a dramatic and ignoble story.

Mr Aitken resigned in dramatic fashion in 1995 after the Guardian and Granada accused him of accepting bribes from Saudi businessmen in connection with arms sales.

Announcing his intention to sue for libel, he said: "If it has fallen to my destiny to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight."

But the words were to haunt him when he lied under oath about the truth of his stay at the Ritz hotel in Paris.

Mr Aitken was forced to exchange the splendour of his Westminster house and extravagant lifestyle for a prison cell.

The former minister is now living in Oxford and studying theology.

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See also:

24 Sep 00 | UK Politics
Sinner studies the saints
08 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Aitken: A glittering career cut short
31 May 00 | UK Politics
Probe into Aitken 'secret account'
07 Jan 00 | UK Politics
Aitken freed from prison
08 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Aitken's downfall complete
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