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Kitty Lyons, Labour councillor
"I think it is quite likely that he will pay out"
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 December, 1999, 08:16 GMT
Archer faces new cash demands
Lord Archer: Thought unlikely to pay the 40,000

The Conservative Party has threatened Lord Archer with legal action for the 40,000 cost of the contest to choose its candidate for London mayor, a newspaper has reported.

The Archer Scandal
The disgraced Tory peer, who is expected to face expulsion from the party, will find out "within days" whether the party will issue a writ for the money, The Times says.

Lawyers are considering who is liable, a Conservative spokeswoman told the paper.

"The rule is that the winning candidate has to pick up the cost of the electoral process from their fighting fund," she said.

"We hope Lord Archer can pay the bill."

But with the novelist's expected expulsion from the party after an ethics and integrity committee inquiry, there is thought to be no chance of him handing over the money.

Recent controversies

His campaign manager Stephan Shakespeare declined to comment, but a friend of Lord Archer told the paper: "It does not take a lot of foresight to work out that Jeffrey, having been asked to stand down by the leadership from the mayoral race, is not going to be willing to pay 40,000 for an electoral contest which everyone assumed Central Office would pay for."

The 40,000 includes the cost of a postal ballot of the party's 38,000 members.

Meanwhile, a Labour councillor for Barnet in Hertfordshire is demanding the repayment of 2,000 given to Lord Archer by the local council 10 years ago.

The money was paid to the peer after a motion was tabled saying he was unfit to hand out awards at a school open day.

The Tory group apologised to Lord Archer on behalf of the council and paid him 2,000.

Councillor Kitty Lyons, who tabled the original motion, told the BBC the council's Labour group now wanted the 2,000 plus interest back which could amount to 4,000.

She said it was likely he would pay out as other claims, such as that by the Daily Star, which lost a libel action to the peer in 1987, believed they had a good case.

She said: "I think we're entitled to get our money back the same as the Daily Star.

"With government cuts, we're having to cut back on essential services, I think the 4,000 will come in extremely useful."

Lord Archer dropped out of the race to become London mayor in November after revelations he asked a friend to lie for him under oath.

Fresh claims were also made against him by the peer's former friend, Michael Stacpoole, who was photographed handing 2,000 to a prostitute on Lord Archer's behalf in 1986.

Mr Stacpoole revealed new allegations against the former mayoral hopeful, saying these would have undermined the libel case against the newspaper had he been in the country.

Former prostitute Monica Coghlan has also called on Lord Archer to face her in court.

She told the Daily Mirror she would like to see the facts in the libel case - in which the peer was awarded 500,000 damages - re-examined in court.

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See also:
30 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Archer challenged by former prostitute
29 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Livingstone rallies to Archer's defence
29 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Police investigate fresh Archer claims
27 Nov 99 |  UK
Hague 'will not tolerate sleaze'
26 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Archer breaks cover
25 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Archer 'more human than most'
25 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Archer 'will not refund libel damages'
21 Nov 99 |  UK
Love is: Marriage to Jeffrey

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