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Trial fear 'caused sacking'.


LADY Archer sacked her personal assistant after she secretly fed police information to snare her crooked husband, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Jane Williams, 49, gave a statement to police on the first day of Lord Archer's perjury trial and his wife feared her PA would "drop a bombshell on the trial", the employment tribunal was told.

Lady Archer, 57, said she had been told Miss Williams, who claims unfair dismissal, had been asking a local journalist how she could make some money out of the trial.

She told the hearing: "I had begun to suspect that Miss Williams had systematically stolen confidential information from me for years."

The jailed Tory peer's wife told Miss Williams, who lives near Saffron Walden, Essex, to work from home during the perjury trial rather than at the Archers' Old Vicarage in Grantchester, Cambs.

Lady Archer said a conflict of interest could arise as Miss Williams was now a potential prosecution witness at her husband's perjury trial.

She said Miss Williams, who worked for Lady Archer for 13 years, had already been warned about sending emails to friends with insulting comments about her employer.

Lady Archer denies she dismissed Miss Williams unfairly.

She said: "My case is that Jane's dismissal was because she didn't feel able to accept a part-time job or indeed sign a confidentiality agreement."

The tribunal continues.


CASE: Lady Archer
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2002
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