EXCLUSIVE By Amie Keeley

A SUSPECT British publishing firm being investigated by Spanish police has now set up shop in France.

The company Forward Press, which the Olive Press exposed last issue, is also planning to set up a similar scheme in Italy.

The projects, run by disgraced UK poet Ian Walton, promise children the chance to see their ‘winning’ entries in print.

But, after taking thousands of euros from Spanish parents to see their kids’ work, the company shut down its offices in La Cala and Malaga.

According to company accounts, it owes 250,000 euros.

Now, the French website – Jeune Secrivains – is boasting that it has worked with schools across the UK for over 20 years encouraging young reading and writing.

It also refers to the success of the Spanish arm, Jovenes Escritores, which has now shut down.

The website is encouraging young French writers to enter a poetry competition, offering a 1000 euro prize to the school which submits the best poems.

It has emerged that boss Ian Walton has a chequered track record in the UK and was reportedly once fined 2,000 euros for drunkenly assaulting staff in a Peterborough hotel.

He allegedly threw a plant pot at them because they wouldn’t serve him a sandwich. His publishing company in the UK declined to comment.