Will Archer work for charity?

JEFFREY Archer could soon be selling his own novels – second hand.The disgraced peer could be allowed out of prison to take up a new job in a Suffolk charity shop.

JEFFREY Archer could soon be selling his own novels – second hand.

The disgraced peer could be allowed out of prison to take up a new job in a Suffolk charity shop.

It is believed that Archer, who is completing his four year sentence at Hollesley Bay Prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice, could work in an Oxfam shop in either Woodbridge or Ipswich.

But one female Oxfam volunteer, who works at the shop in the Buttermarket, Ipswich, said: "We haven't heard anything about it." However she added: "We don't need any volunteers."

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Nevertheless another Suffolk Oxfam volunteer was pleased to hear the news: "It will do him a lot of good to see what the other side of society is like. It may give him something of a common touch.

"As a keen Jeffrey Archer reader I would be happy to work next to him and for him to sign my books," said Michael Sharman.

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"I expect when people see him they will be quite surprised."

Mr Sharman added that if Archer took up a placement in a charity shop it would be a natural progression from the work he is currently doing in the prison library.

The 62-year-old novelist is thought to have told prison staff that he would like to sort clothes or books in a charity shop.

The governor of Hollesley Bay is alleged to have made informal approaches to Oxfam about prisoner FF8282 working in either the shop in the Buttermarket or in Westgate Street, Ipswich or in the Thoroughfare in Woodbridge.

Archer's last placement had been at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln, but this turned in to controversy when he was seen to be getting special treatment especially after he was seen dining with a prison warder. He was then later punished for breaching his prison-release rules when he attended a party at the Norfolk home of former Education Secretary Gillian Shephard.

A spokeswoman for Oxfam, Lys Holdoway, said that a formal application had not yet been made: "I don't think there's anything to say at the moment – we have not heard anything.

"I think it was because we heard from the Mail on Sunday and they said he had expressed an interested but that's terribly nebulous."

She added that with any requests for work Oxfam would ask for a formal application, the charity would then assess whether the applicant would make a contribution to the shop and whether it would benefit them.

Although Archer has already breached his licence the Home Office said that an inmate in his position could still be considered for another job outside prison.



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