Malcolm Rifkind Steps Down as ISC Chair and MP

The Chairman of the ISC, the Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind has this morning issued the following statement:

None of the current controversy with which I am associated is relevant to my work as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament.

However, I have today informed my colleagues that while I will remain a member of the Committee, I will step down from the Chairmanship.

The Committee is due to be dissolved in little over a month with the prorogation of Parliament for the forthcoming General Election. The main substantive work which needs to be completed will be the publication of our Privacy and Security Report during March.

I do not want the work of the Committee and the publication of the Report to be, in any way, distracted or affected by controversy as to my personal position. I have concluded, therefore, that it is better that this important work should be presided over by a new Chairman.

Will it be enough to lance the boil?

UPDATE: Rifkind also stepping down as an MP at the election. Kensington is in play.

UPDATE II: Personal statement from Sir Malcolm Rifkind:

“I have received tremendous support from my Constituency Association and from many constituents in Kensington over the last two days. However, I have been pondering whether it is fair to my colleagues and friends in Kensington to remain the prospective Conservative candidate for the forthcoming General Election. I warmly welcome the Committee that has been established by the Party to examine the controversy with which I have been associated and to report by the end of March on its conclusions. It will be an excellent opportunity for an objective assessment of the allegations that have been made and I will be happy to cooperate closely with the Committee. However, it is unlikely that it will be able to finish its deliberations until well into March and there, obviously, can be no certainty as to its conclusions. I am conscious, therefore, that Kensington Conservatives are faced with serious uncertainty until the end of March as to whether I will be able to be their candidate. If I could not they would have little time to choose a new candidate. I am also aware that even if the Committee reach a favourable conclusion as to these allegations the controversy will remain during what is certain to be a heated General Election and, indeed, for many months thereafter until the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has completed the necessary enquiry. I had intended to seek one further term as MP for Kensington, before retiring from the House of Commons. 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. As regards the allegations of Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph I find them contemptible and will not comment further at this time. 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.”

UPDATE III: No. 10:

UPDATE IV: 

Tories:

“Sir Malcolm has had a long career of distinguished service both to the Conservative Party and the country.  We respect and support his decision to stand down.” 




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn on Big Ben Bong Ban

“… if we have to miss Big Ben in reality for a while so that work can be done, well, that’s something we have to go through. It’s not a national disaster or catastrophe.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Fears For Chapman Fears For Chapman
Why Transition Must Be Short Why Transition Must Be Short
PICTURES: Seumas’ Temper Tantrum PICTURES: Seumas’ Temper Tantrum
Don’t Believe ‘Victory For Hammond’ Spin Don’t Believe ‘Victory For Hammond’ Spin
Friday Caption Contest: Commando Chappers Edition Friday Caption Contest: Commando Chappers Edition
Angry Adonis Wanted ‘Office for Students’ Job Angry Adonis Wanted ‘Office for Students’ Job
Listen: Rees-Mogg vs Chapman Listen: Rees-Mogg vs Chapman
City Envoy Slams “Bewildering” Brussels City Envoy Slams “Bewildering” Brussels
Labour Pledged to Sell-Off Public Land Labour Pledged to Sell-Off Public Land
Corbyn’s ‘Local GPs’ Visit Staged by Labour Spin Doctor Corbyn’s ‘Local GPs’ Visit Staged by Labour Spin Doctor
Joly-Gone: Maugham Deletes Centre Party Plan Joly-Gone: Maugham Deletes Centre Party Plan
Milne: North Korea ‘Rational’ to Have Nukes Milne: North Korea ‘Rational’ to Have Nukes
LibDem Chief Exec Out LibDem Chief Exec Out
Jones Ditches Momentum For Radio Show Jones Ditches Momentum For Radio Show
Chlorine Chicken? EU Mired in Food Safety Scandals Chlorine Chicken? EU Mired in Food Safety Scandals
Juncker’s Junkets: Commissioners’ €500,000 Expenses Juncker’s Junkets: Commissioners’ €500,000 Expenses
Owen Jones in for Nawaz on LBC Owen Jones in for Nawaz on LBC
Watch: Maduro’s Thugs Executing Opponents Watch: Maduro’s Thugs Executing Opponents
Inside Baroness Scotland’s Home – But No Pictures Allowed Inside Baroness Scotland’s Home – But No Pictures Allowed