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Cash for access

Former political heavyweights Jack Straw (Lab) and Malcolm Rifkind (Con) are reportedly caught offering "cash for access" in a sting operation by Channel 4 and The Daily Telegraph.
Cash for access

Westminster scandalised - again

The Channel 4 programme Dispatches, due to screen tonight Monday, is reported to show former foreign secretaries Straw and Rifkind offer access to government in return for cash. In the joint investigation by Channel 4 and The Daily Telegraph Straw and Rifkind were approached by a fictitious Chinese company and were offered cash in return for access to the highest levels of government in Whitehall and Westminster.

 

The two Westminster politicians were offered at least £5,000 per day by the fictitious Chinese company. Straw was quoted as saying he "operated 'under the radar' to use his influence to change European Union rules on behalf of a commodity firm which pays him £60,000 a year".  Straw was also reported to have used his House of Commons office to hold "consultancy" meetings and to have used his publically paid researcher to work on his private business matters. Both activities would be potential breaches of the rules.

Rifkind was reported to have offered "'useful access' to every British ambassador in the world because of his status". The Daily Telegraph have also said that Rifkind "would submit questions to ministers on behalf of a paying client, without revealing their identity".

The Daily Telegraph have reported that "Mr Straw and Sir Malcolm denied any wrongdoing".

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