Posted Thursday, June 20, 2002

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I intend to ensure that he is in a position to fight not just for himself and his family but for all of us who are opposed to the enemies of free speech -- Matthew Gordon Lennox, according to The Guardian,6957,181043,00.html

London, Thursday, June 20, 2002


by Matthew Norman


THE "always darkest before the dawn" theory appears to be holding good for David Irving. Four days after the Sunday Telegraph reported that the bankrupt historian's £750,000 Mayfair flat has been repossessed to pay some of his libel costs, we now hear of a white knight riding to his rescue. A wealthy young friend, Matthew Gordon Lennox, has bid for the flat, and intends to lease it back to him (need we use the word peppercorn?).

He's also paid £35,000 to Peter Laskey, Irving's solicitor. "I make it a policy not to talk to the Guardian, your treatment of both Neil and Christine Hamilton and Jonathan Aitken was without justification" is Matthew's emailed reply to our enquiry, but he soon adds this (abridged) statement:

"David Irving is a personal friend, and it is my intention to do all in my power to help him and his family ... I believe that David has been the victim of a merciless campaign and intend to ensure that he is in a position to fight not just for himself and his family but for all of us who are opposed to the enemies of free speech and the right to question."

Friday June 21, ·2002


ATTEMPTS to build bridges with Matthew Gordon Lennox, the Guardian-hating lad of 22 trying to buy David Irving's Mayfair flat to lease it back to the bankrupt historian at a low rent, begin shakily. "You do nothing to improve my opinion of the Guardian," he wrote in reply to Marina Hyde's latest email, before confessing to settling part of his legal bill and to being a venture capitalist.

You can see why he took offence. "Apologies for continuing to plague you," Marina wrote. "Could we just confirm that you have paid a chunk of the legal fees Mr Irving owes to Peter Laskey? The figure we have been quoted is £35,000. Also, how would you wish to be described in print, in professional terms?" This kind of aggressive harassment is not acceptable, and I have warned Marina that I may have to refer the matter to the Office of the Readers' Editor.

Tuesday June 25, ·2002

A SHADOW hovers over the [Guardian] Diary Summer Party, which networking queen Carole Stone plans to host at her Covent Garden salon. A reader rings to say she once attended a Stone soiree and was horrified to find David Irving at the party. It was just after he'd lost his Holocaust denier case with Deborah Lipstadt, and our source recalls that alerting the rest of the gathering reminded her of the man running along the street after Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man shouting "Der Weisse Engel!".

In her recent Book of the Month, Carole mentions the incident. "Lots of my Jewish friends ... were outraged," recalls Carole, "but again no one made a scene and several of my guests seized the opportunity to tackle him about his ideas... Many's the time I have unwittingly invited people who were not on speaking terms to a party where quarrels have been resolved and friendships repaired."

Isn't that enchanting? Whether Mr Irving will be invited to this one is something we'll have to thrash out with Carole.


· Returning briefly to David Irving, our bridge-building initiative with Matthew Gordon Lennox, the Guardian-hating venture capitalist who wants to buy the bankrupt historian's Mayfair flat to lease it back to him for a pittance, has some way to go. Last week, Matthew became distressed by Marina Hyde's studiedly polite inquiries, and his latest email suggests no progress. "Dear Marina," it runs. "Print anything more and I will pass this matter to my solicitor." You'd never guess he's 22, would you? Now be a good lad, Matthew, please, and stop this silliness at once.

Wednesday June 26, 2002

RELATIONS with Matthew Gordon Lennox - the Private Pike of venture capitalism who hopes to buy bankrupt historian's David Irving's Mayfair flat in order to lease it back to him for thruppence ha'penny - take another sorry turn. After we reported Matthew's threat to take legal action if we ever mentioned him again, another email arrives. "I do not take kindly to having my actions called silly on the pages of a national newspaper, and accordingly I have now passed this matter to my solicitor who will be contacting your editor in the next few days," runs the Guardian-hating 22-year-old's latest missive. "Your invasion of my privacy cannot continue ... My solicitor will require you to reveal to him the name of the person who informed you of my relationship with Mr Irving. Perhaps if you do this we can conclude this matter on relatively amicable terms." Dear, dear, dear. What a remarkably silly boy this is.

· As suggested yesterday, the Electoral Reform Society has agreed to investigate the breakdown in scoring at Sunday's River Cafe quiz. "Our fee, distasteful as the subject is, will be three invitations to your lovely summer bash," writes ERS press officer Alex Folkes, "and an introduction to the charming Ms Stone (although not Mr Irving please as he sounds rather naff)." Alex, you'll be most welcome. And rest assured, whether or not he has by then become little Matthew's tenant, David Irving will not be making another appearance at Carole's Covent Garden salon on our account.


© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002



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