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Stand by your man;Diary;Opinion;News amp; Opinion

AS one figure joins the mayoral race, another leaves... The Diary says "chin up" to Stephan Shakespeare, former teacher, "leading educationalist" (copyright: News of the World) and campaign manager for Jeffrey Archer.

Stephan is the forgotten victim in the Archer scandal - the man who has trotted faithfully before the television cameras to defend his master but who now faces an uncertain future.

He's worked for Archer for two and a half years - since failing to win Colchester for the Tories in the general election in fact. What now?

"I shall probably continue with Jeffrey and then see what happens," he tells the Diary, glumly. How about a return to teaching, or journalism, we suggest? (Mail and News of the World contributor, Stephan was a reliable provider of Tory propaganda and once wrote a piece advising Prince William on filling out his UCAS form.)

"I don't think I'm going in that direction," he now says. Another crack at parliament, then? "It's not uppermost in my mind."

Despite the uncertainty, he remains loyal to his boss to the end.

"It's obviously been a bit disappointing," he sighs. "But Jeffrey is a man of great talent and energy and I'm sure he'll have plenty to contribute." Very touching.

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