MPs for Hire – Dispatches Investigation

Two of Parliament’s most respected Members of Parliamen are tonight secretly filmed discussing how they would be prepared to use their contacts to benefit a private fictitious Chinese influential business a Channel 4 Dispatches and The Telegraph investigation reveals.

The two former government and cabinet statesmen of Westminster, Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind and the Labour MP Jack Straw, both feature in Politicians For Hire – Dispatches at 8pm.
During meetings with undercover reporters Sir Malcolm Rifkind described himself as ‘self-employed’ and claimed ‘nobody pays me a salary’.

In return for his services he discussed his usual fee of ‘somewhere in the region of £5,000 to £8,000’ for a half a day’s work.

Sir Malcolm also claimed he could write to a minister on behalf of our company without saying exactly who he was representing
Sir Malcolm added that he could see any foreign ambassador in London if he wanted, so could provide ‘access’ that is ‘useful’

Former Labour Home Secretary
Mr Straw invited the two reporters posing as lobbyists for a fictitious influential Chinese business concern looking for UK support and MPs to join their advisory committee and met at his Parliamentary office where he discussed fees of £5000 per day for having his name associated to a business.

He also explained that he normally charges a fee of this for consultancy work and how his lobbying as a senior politician is useful to a private company, he already works for.

Mr Straw says he wouldn’t take on the role while he remained an MP, but claimed he would be more helpful to our company if he were to become a Lord because of the different rules that apply.

The Dispatches programme follows the previous investigation, some years ago when Geoff Hoon was banned from Parliament for five years and former transport minister Stephen Byers banned for two years following political impropriety. The recent investigation reveals that even though there were inquiries and laws introduced five years on politicians are still prepared to sell their service and lobby government for a price and are short of public expectations?

Channel 4 Dispatches and The Telegraph program shown Monday 23rd February

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