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Monday, 29 October, 2001, 14:54 GMT
Aitken faces 'almost penniless' future
Jonathan Aitken
The one-time Tory high-flyer is now a mature student
An "almost penniless" future awaits disgraced former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken with his expected discharge from bankruptcy, his spokeswoman claims.

Mr Aitken, who served seven months in jail after lying in court during his libel case against The Guardian and Granada television, was declared bankrupt in June 1999.

He just wants to get on with his life as a mature student in Oxford

Spokeswoman for Jonathan Aitken
Despite selling his 2m central London house and raising 16,000 with an auction of personal possessions, a proposed deal will see his creditors accepting only part-payment of what they are owed.

The Guardian said it was likely to receive less than half the 1.5m it spent defending itself in court.

However, a spokeswoman for the 59-year-old former Conservative MP said: "If Mr Aitken's bankruptcy ends with the agreement of his creditors he will be left almost penniless except for his future entitlement to his pension rights."

They are reportedly worth about 50,000 a year from the age of 60.

The spokeswoman went on: "Press reports that he owns other assets are untrue. He has co-operated fully with his trustee in bankruptcy (accountancy firm Baker Tilly) and has made no legal intervention in the bankruptcy process for over two years.

"He has no plans to go back into business. He just wants to get on with his life as a mature student in Oxford where he will be studying theology for two more years."

Although earning a small amount of money from writing articles, Mr Aitken is living "very frugally" as a student.

Proposed settlement

In a statement, The Guardian said of the assets of Mr Aitken which Baker Tilly had taken into account, apart from his pension, his family would be keeping 600,000 from the sale of his house.

The newspaper said it was "willing to accept a proposed settlement with Jonathan Aitken this week under which he will make part-payment to his creditors".

"The Guardian has spent over 1.5m to defend itself against Mr Aitken's false libel accusations and to pursue its costs.

"It is likely to receive less than half what it is owed."

"The Guardian is prepared to agree a settlement in order to avoid the expense of further litigation, and to enable Mr Aitken to resume his life with his bankruptcy discharged."

Once agreement with all creditors has been agreed the High Court will be asked to conclude the bankruptcy, likely in the near future.

See also:

30 Apr 01 | UK Politics
Disgraced Aitken moves out
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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