Tags: cash | access | scandal | british | mp | malcolm rifkind

Cash for Access Scandal Trips British MP Malcolm Rifkind

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 11:26 AM

A "cash for access" scandal has rocked the British Parliament, causing Kensington MP Malcolm Rifkind to step down and resign as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

An undercover recording caught Rifkind and Labour MP Jack Straw allegedly offering to use their positions to help a Hong Kong-based firm in exchange for thousands of pounds, according to The Independent. The firm was a ruse and the recording was posted by the Daily Telegraph and BBC Channel 4 Dispatches.

"This is entirely my personal decision," Rifkind said Tuesday. "I have had no such requests from my constituency association but I believe that it is the right and proper action to take. Although I will retire from Parliament I shall continue my public and political life and am much looking forward to doing so over the years to come."

Rifkind will leave office after the May 7 election, noted The Independent.

BBC News reported on Monday that Rifkind and Straw both defended themselves, saying they had nothing to be embarrassed about and that they would fight charges of cash for access against leveled against them.

Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed on Monday that chief whip Michael Gove had announced that a short disciplinary inquiry into the allegations against Rifkind would start, reported The Guardian.

"These are very serious matters," Cameron said. "We have, rightly, very clear rules in this country which is MPs being paid to lobby – that is not acceptable, that is not allowed under the rules. It is right that Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind have referred themselves to the parliamentary commissioner, to have themselves investigated."

"It is also right that, in both cases, while that happens the party whip should be suspended and that is what will happen with Sir Malcolm Rifkind as well as with Jack Straw. Obviously in Sir Malcolm's case he is still a candidate at the next election so there will be an immediate disciplinary inquiry by the Conservative party to look at this case," said Cameron.

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A "cash for access" scandal has rocked the British Parliament, causing Kensington MP Malcolm Rifkind to step down and resign as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.
cash, access, scandal, british, mp, malcolm rifkind
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2015-26-24
Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 11:26 AM
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