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MP Faces Fresh Probe As Book Pulled

Coventry people will not be able to buy a book in the city detailing allegations about local MP Geoffrey Robinson’s finances.

Both WH Smith and Waterstones have said they will not stock The Paymaster by tom Bower when it is published next month.

Some of the details in the book have been serialised in the Daily Mail, and Trade Secretary Stephen Byers has threatened to sue the paper.

But the parliamentary standards commissioner Elizabeth Filkin is to re-open an investigation into the Coventry North West MP.

It is alleged that Mr Robinson asked for a £200,000 payments from Robert Maxwell. A previous public investigation has cleared him of this, but the book claims that evidence of the payment was found and suppressed by the DTI.

Robinson, who does not live in Coventry, was forced to resign from the Government as Paymaster General in December 1998 following details of a loan to Peter Mandelson.

Bower’s book is due for publication on 2 April by Simon & Schuster. Both the WH Smith and Waterstones chain have decided not to stock it until the legal uncertainties are resolved.

Coventry’s other full-price bookshop, Paperback Exchange, is not planning to stock it, but can order it for customers.

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CWN / Politics / MPs / Geoffrey Robinson / 22 Mar 01

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