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Sir Malcolm Rifkind stepping down as Kensington and Chelsea MP and Chair of Security Committee

Sir Malcolm Rifkind meeting  undercover reporters

Sir Malcolm Rifkind being secretly recorded in Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 Dispatches sting. Image: C4 Dispatches.

After criticism over ‘cash-for-access’ claims, Sir Rifkind released a statement today that confirms he is stepping down as the chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

Sir Rifkind is also standing down as Conservative MP for Kensington and Chelsea.

Sir Malcolm is reported to have claimed he could arrange ‘useful access’ to every British ambassador in the world when meeting undercover reporters.

The footage was filmed in secret by journalists from the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 Dispatches programme who posed as representatives of a firm from Hong Kong.

He was recorded saying: ‘I am self-employed – so nobody pays me a salary. I have to earn my income.’

The Dispatches programme showed footage in which he said his usual fee for half a day’s work was ‘somewhere in the region of £5,000 to £8,000.’

The former foreign and defence secretary has denied any misconduct.

Sir Malcolm has said all allegations against him are contemptible due to his comments being made whilst he was unaware he was being filmed.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Open government licence

He had planned to serve another full term as MP but now plans to leave Parliament after the General Election in May.

Sir Rifkind said:

I have concluded that to end the uncertainty it would be preferable, instead, to step down at the end of this Parliament. This is entirely my personal decision. I have had no such requests from my constituency association but I believe that it is the right and proper action to take.

Although Sir Rifkind will now no longer be chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee , he will still be a member.

Sir Malcolm’s predecessor and Ex-Labour MP Kim Howells has said ‘[Rifkind] has done the right thing.’

The committee is currently holding a meeting to choose the new chairman.

 

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