9:41pm UK, Thursday November 04, 2010

Ruth Barnett, Sky News Online

A shadowy organisation has apparently offered to lend the UK
£75bn to clear the national debt and "help save the world", a peer has
told Sky News.

Lord James of Blackheath
said the group, which he refuses to name and refers to only as
"Foundation X", is willing to hand over the cash without strings
attached.

And the Conservative peer is accusing the Government of squandering
the chance to rescue the UK economy and save hundreds of thousands of
jobs.

He says they have dismissed him as an ageing maverick.

Lord James, who denies he is the victim of an elaborate hoax, first revealed the details to stunned peers in the House of Lords on Monday night.

"The can have the entire independent management
and control of it – Foundation X does not want anything to do with it,"
he told them.

"There will be no interest charged and… it will be prepared to put
up money for funding hospitals, schools, the building of Crossrail
immediately with £17bn transfer by if requested."

If it’s all wrong you can blame it on this maverick ageing
old-codger peer and if I’m right, you get all the great glory of this
happening for the British economy."


Lord James speaking to Sky News



Link to the video

He said a phone call from a senior minister to the foundation’s
was all it would take "and then we can get into business".

Bloggers including Charles Stross spotted his remarks, prompting speculation on the internet that the peer, who is in his 70s, has been taken in by a scam.

Lord James told Sky News he was approached nearly six months ago and
asked to help broker a deal which could be bigger than the
Plan, the US fund which helped recover from the Second World War.

He said he has told the Government: "If it’s all wrong you can blame
it on this maverick ageing old-codger peer and if I’m right, you get all
the great glory of this happening for the British economy."

The peer refused to reveal the identity of the organisation but
described them as having a "massive supranational accumulation of funds"
which they have built up over 100 years.

They are motivated by a desire to rescue the global economy – and
their savings – from growing instability and have provided a list of
referees which includes the "most high-profile people on the world
stage," he said.

In his extraordinary statement to the Lords, the peer said he
believed the money was not tainted by criminality because he had had
years of experience dealing with cash from criminal groups.

"My biggest terrorist client was the IRA and I am pleased to say that
I managed to write off more than £1bn of its money," he said.

But he told Sky News he had not intended to imply he had done
anything improper as he had been working for the ,
clearing up companies infiltrated by the IRA.

"I’m not a money launderer, I was on the side of the angels," he added.