Lords stunned by Tory peer’s IRA funding claim

07/11/2010 17:54

By Andy McSmith Independent.co.uk

A conservative “working” peer has made an astonishing claim that he handled billions of pounds of terrorist funds at the behest of the Bank of England during his business career, with the IRA as his “biggest client”.

Lord James of Blackheath also claims that he is in touch with a secret organisation which he called Foundation X, with vast sums of money at its disposal, which is prepared to lend billions to the British government, interest free, to help reduce the deficit, but he has been unable to get ministers to believe him. His claims were ridiculed as coming from a man who has lost touch with reality when he voiced them in the House of Lords this week, but a government minister, Lord Sassoon, said that they had been the subject of “detailed discussions”.

Lord James told peers: “I have had one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of terrorist money and funny money that anyone has had in the City. I have handled billions of pounds of terrorist money. My biggest client was the IRA and I am pleased to say that I managed to write off more than £1bn of its money. I have also had extensive connections with North African terrorists, but that was of a far nastier nature, and I do not want to talk about that because it is still a security issue. I hasten to add that it is no good getting the police in, because I shall immediately call the Bank of England as my defence witness, given that it put me in to deal with these problems.”

He told peers that he was approached for or five months ago by a City firm, on behalf of “a strange organisation which wishes to make a great deal of money available to assist the recovery of the economy”. Later, Lord James gave a figure of £75bn. He said: “I have come to the absolute conclusion that Foundation X is completely genuine and sincere and that it directly wishes to make the United Kingdom one of the principal points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinarily great wealth as part of an attempt to seek the recovery of the global economy.”

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