Rumours without reason

Huntswoman Penny Mortimer asserts that the International Fund for Animal Welfare gave £1m to the Labour Party (Diary, 23 October). It did not - she is confusing it with the Political Animal Lobby. She also claims that rumours abound that IFAW is about to donate "another million pounds" to the party. Rumours? Really?

There is a rumour circulating in our office that the Countryside Alliance has acquired a number of nuclear weapons from the Soviet stockpile, and that it will launch them at major urban areas and conurbations should fox-hunting be banned - a rumour that I started and one with absolutely no basis in fact. I would be surprised to see it given credence by an appearance in the pages of an organ as august as the New Statesman, despite my rumour probably being closer to the truth than Mortimer's.

Ben Stewart
International Fund for Animal Welfare
London SE1

This article first appeared in the 30 October 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Divorce your husband and watch him get rich