Wed, 27 January, 2021

Maxwell podcast

THE arrest by the FBI last July of GHISLAINE MAXWELL in New Hampshire, USA, for allegedly procuring under-age girls for Jeffrey Epstein, led to a shoal of requests to AMP from media all around the world.

They wanted background on Robert Maxwell; details of the MGN pension scandal; the Maxwell dynasty; information about Ghislaine and her relationship with her father – and so on.

Requests came from magazines, documentary makers and podcasters. Some of the AMP committee were interviewed, along with many other Mirror alumni, and now some of the programmes and broadcasts are out there:

One outfit we were involved with was production company Somethin’ Else (, and we’ve heard from producer Paul Smith: “Here’s the link for our podcast series about Robert Maxwell. Episode 1 has just been released:

You’ll probably recognise some of the voices! (Maxwell pic: Daily Mirror)

Patrons line-up strengthened

IAN AUSTIN, now Lord Austin of Dudley, who was previously a Patron in the House of Commons for the AMP when he was a Labour then independent MP, has agreed to continue his support for us in the House of Lords. He sits in the Lords as a non-affiliated life peer, i.e independent.

Among several posts as an MP in both government and Opposition, Ian Austin served as Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions. Lord Austin told Tom Brown, AMP’s life vice-president: “I would love to continue as your friend in Parliament.”

Tom Brown said: “I’m delighted. Ian is a good watchdog and spokesman and very on the ball. He’s well respected across party lines.”

Gerald Mowbray, AMP’s secretary, added: “We have regained another strong voice for AMP members in Parliament.”

Peter Thompson’s latest book

PETER THOMPSON, former editor of the Sunday Mirror and deputy editor of the Daily Mirror, became a full-time author in 1991.

He has just published his 21st book, a biography of the great reformer Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky, the forgotten hero of the Russian Revolution.

Please go to Members’ Noticeboard for all the gen.


Maggie Hall’s new book

Former Daily Mirror reporter MAGGIE HALL has written a book about all things Dracula. Go to Members’ Noticeboard for more info…

Delano’s Italian job

For news of Tony Delano’s latest novel, please go to Members’ Noticeboard

New Patron for AMP

THE AMP has a new Patron.

Our previous House of Commons Patron has been elevated to the House of Lords – former Labour MP Ian Austin is now Baron Austin of Dudley – and we’re absolutely chuffed to announce that we have a new Patron representing the AMP in the lower house.

Meet Christine Jardine.

Christine was approached by friend and AMP Committee member Malcolm Speed. In his invitation, he explained: “On November 5 this year it will be 30 years since Robert Maxwell drowned off his yacht Lady Ghislaine. You will recall these events from your former role as Editor of PA in Scotland.

“That event on Bonfire Night led to the discovery of the theft by Maxwell of pension fund money, some of which we were fortunate to have returned. Others were not so fortunate.

“I can only remind you that when we discovered Maxwell had plundered the pension fund,
the then editor of the Daily Mirror said : ‘Our watchdogs didn’t bark.’

“We now seek always to be on guard, which is why I am writing to you on behalf of the AMP.”

On accepting her new role, Christine said: “I would be delighted to be your champion in the Commons.”

Christine, 60, has been the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West since June, 2017, and is the LibDems Treasury spokesperson. She is also speaks for the LibDems on Brexit, and was their Home Affairs spokesperson and spokesperson for Women and Equalities from 2019 to 2020.

Before entering politics, Christine was an Edinburgh-based journalist and broadcaster who had written for the Scotsman, worked for the BBC and was editor of the Press Association in Scotland. Christine taught both post- and undergraduate students at the University of the West of Scotland, having run the postgraduate practical journalism course at the Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies for five years.

Christine has one daughter who is studying at the University of Edinburgh. Her late husband, Calum Macdonald was also a journalist.

Originally from a comfortable working-class background, Christine learned early in life about family support and encouragement. This was brought home to Christine when her father died at the age of just 44, leaving her Mum to look after her and her two sisters aged eight and 13. They had the support they needed but Christine saw how easy it would have been for them to have slipped through the net.

There will be a full report about all our Patrons in the spring Mirror Pensioner.

Tom Hendry joins AMP Committee

THE AMP has a new committee member – heavyweight news veteran Tom Hendry, pictured.

Tom, 77, served as news editor and assistant editor on the Daily Mirror, was deputy news editor of the Sunday Express, and later news editor of the Mail on Sunday. He freelances to this day.

Tom is married to Sunday Mirror journo Jacqui Thake.

Over the years, Tom has masterminded coverage of countless major news stories – including the Hillsborough tragedy, the Zeebrugge ferry disaster, the Locker­bie air crash – and Sarah Ferguson’s toe-sucking shame.

He said: “Like every newspaper, the Mirror is going through hard times because of the coronavirus pandemic, but I hope to make an impact and help safeguard our members.” (Please go to About Us>The Committee.)

It’s nearly time…

COMING soon through your letterbox, another full-colour, 16-page Mirror Pensioner, packed with news, views and features.

And it’s exclusive to AMP members only.

Our AGM has been postponed

THE Association’s 2020 annual general meeting in London, and the Scottish annual meeting in Glasgow, have been postponed until next spring.

This decision illustrates how the Covid crisis has made life so much more difficult – and was prompted by fears over risks to our members using public transport, together with difficulties over venue availability.

Assuming current lockdown restrictions have significantly eased by then, our AGM 2020, originally booked for October 13 this year, will now take place on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at the usual St Alban’s Centre, Holborn.

The AMP’s 2019-20 financial accounts, together with those for year-ending March 31, 2020, will be presented for formal approval at the rearranged AGM.

The Scottish annual meeting will follow on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at the usual SDR & SM venue.

Further updates will be given in Mirror Pensioner – as well as on this website.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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