The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Free of shackles, Archer has a lot to pen

Woodbridge, July 21: British novelist and disgraced politician Jeffrey Archer was freed on parole today after serving half of a four-year jail sentence for lying in a libel case over a prostitute.

Archer, whose pacy thrillers are a staple of airport bookshops around the world, welcomed an end to “this unhappy period in my life” in a statement issued just before his release.

He was convicted for perjury and perverting the course of justice and jailed in 2001 after lying in a libel trial against a newspaper which said he had had sex with a prostitute.

He was driven away from Hollesley Bay open prison in the southern county of Suffolk by one of his sons this morning.

The 63-year-old millionaire — who made his fortune from best-sellers Honour Among Thieves and Kane and Abel — will now try to rebuild his reputation, not as a politician, though. Archer was a key Conservative Party member during the time of Margaret Thatcher. “I don’t think he has a political life ahead of him, but he does not need to have one,” his friend Gyles Brandreth, a former lawmaker, told Independent. “He can be a very successful and popular novelist.”

Archer praised his wife Mary, who stood by him throughout the scandal. “I want to thank my wife Mary and my sons, William and James, for their unwavering and unstinting support during this unhappy period in my life.”

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