The UK government will not take up the apparent offer of billions of interest-free pounds from a mysterious organisation called Foundation X, a Treasury spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Friday.
The existence of the offer was detailed on Monday in the House of Lords by Lord James of Blackheath, who said the foundation was willing to pump at least £22bn into government coffers by Christmas. According to the spokesperson, Treasury commercial secretary Lord Sassoon has "looked into Lord James of Blackheath's proposal, and has decided not to pursue the matter any further".
"At no point has Lord Sassoon, or any Treasury officials, held any meetings with Lord James of Blackheath or any organisation that he mentions on this subject," the spokesperson added.
When he detailed the offer on Monday, Lord James began by apologising to Lord Sassoon "because I am about to raise a subject that I should not raise", then said he had been in a two-week discussion with Lords Sassoon and Strathclyde about the matter. He went on to say that neither Lord Sassoon nor Lord Strathclyde — who is the leader of the House of Lords — gave credence to the offer.
The Treasury's statement appears to contradict Lord James' claim that he has met with Lord Sassoon to discuss Foundation X's offer, although it is not clear how he related the offer if not in some kind of meeting. The line that neither Lord Sassoon nor Treasury officials had met with the foundation itself, though, makes sense, as according to Lord James Foundation X expects to be contacted "only by someone equal to head of state status or someone with an international security rating equal to the top six people in the world".
In his speech on Monday, Lord James also said he had "managed to write off more than £1 billion" of the IRA's money in his City work for the government. However, he later explained that this had been at the behest of the Bank of England, and he was "a money washer, not a money launderer".