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Nadhim Zahawi, spokesman for Lord Archer
"He's just trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered life"
 real 28k

Toby Sealey reports for BBC News
"Jeffrey Archer has stayed behind closed doors"
 real 28k

Sunday, 28 November, 1999, 01:30 GMT
Archer rejects 'dubious' reports
The Sunday papers The Sunday papers: Archer on many front pages

Disgraced Tory peer Lord Archer has appealed for space to reflect with his family after fresh newspaper allegations over his conduct during his 1987 libel trial.

The Archer Scandal
A spokesman for the peer, who stood down as a London mayor candidate after admitting asking a friend to lie for him over the case, attacked the "character assassinations".

"The papers are quoting anonymous friends of friends and people of dubious character.

"I think the public have had quite enough of people lining up to kick this man's head in.

"He is obviously very sorry for letting down his family and his party when he asked a friend 13 years ago to cover for him over a dinner date."

But there is nothing anonymous about the allegations published in the Mail on Sunday.

Lord Archer Lord Archer: "Very sorry"
It says Lord Archer's former friend and confidant, Michael Stacpoole, has promised to return to London from his Thailand home to help Scotland Yard with its investigations into the peer.

"My evidence under cross-examination would have blown his case apart and he knew it," Mr Stacpoole is quoted as saying.

"Jeffrey and I were very close friends and we enjoyed life together but I think that over many, many instances now he has not only let his wife and his children down but he has let his friends down, he has let me down and it's time really to tell the truth."

The Sunday Telegraph says the police want to question Mr Stacpoole over accusations in the Mail on Sunday.

Ted Francis Ted Francis: Revelations led to Archer's fall
The Sunday Express does quote an unnamed source - a friend of the late Terence Baker, who gave evidence during the case.

The friend is said to have given a signed statement with "significant new information" to lawyers acting on behalf of the Daily Star, which paid Lord Archer 500,000 in damages after losing the case.

The newspaper quoted the Star's lawyers as saying: "The friend's statement came to us last week following the revelations from Ted Francis.

"The friend has only come forward now that Baker is dead because he had been previously concerned that he might get his friend into trouble and he did not realise how important this information might be to us."

The Star is demanding that the peer pay back the damages and costs plus interest - a total estimated at about 3m.

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See also:
27 Nov 99 |  UK
Hague 'will not tolerate sleaze'
26 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Archer breaks cover
20 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Profile: Jeffrey Archer
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