Westminster is “completely incapable of cleaning itself up”, the SNP have said today, in light of today’s ‘cash for access’ scandal.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting this morning that Jack Straw - the former Labour Foreign Secretary, and Sir Malcolm Rifkind who also served as Foreign Secretary as well as Defence Secretary and Scottish Secretary for the Tories, and is now chairman of the highly influential Westminster Intelligence and Security Committee - both appear to be offering their services to a fictitious Chinese company for substantial amounts of money.
This will be seen in the documentary ‘Politicians for Hire‘ for which they were secretly filmed. The Dispatches programme follows an almost identical programme broadcast in 2010, which led to the banning from Parliament of several MPs. At the time, Jack Straw said that Labour MPs were “stupid” to be caught in a sting.
Angus Robertson MP, SNP Westminster Leader, commented:
‘’These revelations once again raise serious questions about the way the Westminster Labour and Tory establishment behave and conduct themselves. It is not good enough to brush these revelations aside as a ‘trap’ or as ‘silly things to say‘- as those involved have.
“What is even more galling is that the Dispatches investigation is a rerun of an almost identical exercise carried out just before the last election five years ago. At the time, MPs – including Jack Straw – queued up to condemn the MPs’ behaviour and promise reform.
“Fast forward five years, nothing has changed and we can see that Westminster is completely incapable of cleaning itself up.
“It isn’t surprising that Westminster is held in such low esteem by so many people when we see antics like this. People are sick and tired of this kind of behaviour. Time really is up for this tired Westminster Labour/Tory cosy establishment, which is so out of touch with the way people lead their lives.
“Voting SNP and returning a strong group of MPs in May will give Scotland a strong voice against the discredited Westminster establishment.”