Former British Foreign Minister and Labour MP Jack Straw has been caught in secret filming apparently offering his influence to a fictitious Chinese company in return for cash.
The “sting” also hit another former Foreign Minister MP Malcolm Rifkind and has reignited a row over, “cash for access”. He has been suspended by the Conservative Party in Parliament.
The political scandal comes just months before an election. Both men have denied any wrong doing and have referred themselves to the British Parliament’s standards watchdog.
“I am really most angry at the suggestion there is something improper about a member of parliament being willing to consider serving on an advisory board of a company that says it is proposing major investment in the United Kingdom,” Sir Malcolm Rifkind told reporters.
The programme claims Jack Straw described how he operated “under the radar” and had used his influence to change EU rules on behalf of a firm which pays him around 70,000 euros a year.
“It was a meeting which I thought was private, it was a similar meeting to those I’ve held with four of five other approaches that have been made to me, not about what I do now but what I do when I finish as a Member of Parliament,” said Jack Straw.
The MP has suspended himself from the Parliamentary Labour Party. Malcolm Rifkind has refused to step down from from Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, of which he is the chairman.