LONDON — Jeffrey Archer, the best-selling novelist who was the Conservative Party candidate for mayor of London, dropped out of the race Saturday after admitting he had once asked a friend to lie for him.
"Jeffrey Archer has let the party down, and there could be no question of him continuing as our candidate for mayor," Conservative leader William Hague said Saturday.
Archer, 59, won the party's nomination on Oct. 1.
Archer admitted that he had asked a friend to lie 13 years ago when Archer was embroiled in a libel suit against the Daily Star newspaper, which had accused him of hiring a prostitute.
"Thirteen years ago, I asked a friend of mine, Ted Francis, to cover for me by saying that we were having dinner together on the evening of Sept. 9, 1986, when in fact I was having dinner with a close female friend at a restaurant in Chelsea," Archer said.
"This was the day I was accused by a newspaper of having slept with the prostitute Monica Coghlan."
Archer denied that accusation and won $800,000 in damages in his suit against the Daily Star. He said the lie was not relevant to the lawsuit.