Sir: I was encouraged to read Stephen Glover's critique of
my new book about the cash for questions affair, Trial by Conspira- cy. Indeed, I am very grateful for his posi- tive interest. Yet Mr Glover does not accept the findings of my colleague Mal- colm Keith-Hill and me that there has been a cover-up at the Guardian.
So be it, but these facts remain. There is in my view solid evidence to support Neil Hamilton's contention that Mohamed Fayed made his allegations out of spite in September 1994, at which time there was an event of immense significance that caused Fayed to develop a huge grudge against him. The Guardian, however, claims that Fayed made his allegations over one year prior to this event, and so could not have been motivated by ill feeling.
The way the evidence stacks up, as I see it, one simply cannot adopt the posture that both Hamilton and the Guardian might be truthful. Either Neil Hamilton fabricated evidence and lied, or the Guardian did so. It is a simple dichotomy without middle ground.
The evidence supporting Hamilton's position cannot in my opinion have been fabricated and his testimony is consistent with that evidence. The Guardian's evi- dence, on the other hand, contains impor- tant anomalies. So I am compelled to con- clude that the Guardian's explanation for the late emergence of Fayed's three Park Lane staff (who appeared two years after Fayed's first set of allegations corroborat- ing an entirely new allegation contradicting all previous allegations) is also unreliable.
Alan Rusbridger denounces me yet shies away from interviews. His journalists dig into our backgrounds supposedly out of curiosity, though they are not curious enough to take up my offer to be inter- viewed. During the past year I have been threatened with legal action many times, yet Mr Rusbridger now states that I am not worth suing. As Mr Glover asked, why?
The answer is simple: the law courts, unlike journalists, have lots of time. Mean- while, Mr Rusbridger takes comfort in the age-old maxim of the British 'free' press: newspapers are reluctant to attack another's journalists. Well, not the Guardian's, anyway. Jonathan Boyd Hunt
50 Church Street, Great Budworth, Cheshire