'This is no scam': Lord James claim the mysterious group's offer is real
A mysterious organisation called Foundation X has offered the British Government £5billion and wants nothing in return, according to a Tory peer.
The old saying tells us that there's no such thing as a free lunch and in these testing economic times, an offer of no-strings cash seems far too good to believe.
Yet Lord James of Blackheath told the House of Lords he had been in discussions with the group and had urged coalition ministers to take accept the multi-billion cash injection.
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Though the alleged offer seems more suited to the type of advance-fee fraud found in the spam folders of email addresses across the globe, Lord James claims Foundation X is 'completely genuine and sincere'.
Lord James, made a Conservative peer by former Tory leader Michael Howard following the 2005 general election, suggested prime minister David Cameron or high-ranking Cabinet ministers such as George Osborne or Liam Fox should contact Foundation X to claim an initial booty of £5bn, with a purported £12bn to follow before the end of the year.
Speaking in the Lords, 72-year-old James said the British government would receive an immediate £5bn and a total of £17bn by Christmas if Foundation X were 'contacted by someone equal to head of state status or someone with an international security rating equal to the top six people in the world'.
'There will be no interest charge and if the Government would like it as well, it will put up money for funding hospitals, schools and the building of Crossrail,' he said.
'These things can be done but a senior member of the Government has to accept the invitation to a phone call to the chairman of Foundation x.'
Ending his 15-minute address on Monday, Lord James remarked: 'This is too big an issue. I am just an ageing, obsessive old peer and I am easily dispensable, but getting to the truth is not.
'We need to know what really is happening here. We must find out the truth of this situation.'
Former city boss Lord James yesterday seemed aware that his bizarre remarks and the supposed organisation's name smacked of a sinister group from the James Bond franchise attempting a poorly veiled blackmail scheme.
'This is totally different to a Nigerian email scheme,' he insisted. 'They don't want anything in return - no access to confidential information or bank accounts.
'No one would forgive us if we missed an opportunity like this'.
Readers would be forgiven for taking Lord James' remarks with a large spoonful of salt but Lord Sassoon, the Treasury minister, claims he takes his fellow peer's suggestions 'extremely seriously'.
'I have been in detailed discussions over the past number of weeks with the noble Lord, Lord James of Blackheath, and of course we take seriously anyone who wants to invest in our economy," Lord Sassoon said.
'I know many people believe that there will be great opportunities in our infrastructure programme to invest in rebuilding our networks to underpin growth.'
Lord James also said on Monday that he had been appointed by the Bank of England to 'deal with problems' caused by the apparent laundering of terrorist money.
'I have had one of the biggest experiences in the laundering of terrorist money and funny money that anyone has had in the City,' the peer said in the Lords.
'I have handled billions of pounds of terrorist money. 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.
'I have also had extensive connections with north African terrorists, but that was of a far nastier nature, and I do not want to talk about that because it is still a security issue.'