Straw and Rifkind Let Off By Standards Commissioner

Jack Straw did not break parliamentary rules when he boasted he could use his influence to change EU rules for a company that pays him £60,000-a-year:

“I got in to see the relevant director general and his officials in Brussels …  and we got the sugar regulations changed,” he said. “I mean … the crucial thing about this, it’s all, it’s public that the regulations have been changed, but the best way of dealing with these things is under the radar”

Malcolm Rifkind has also been cleared this morning. See the original Telegraph/Dispatches story here. Developing…

UPDATE: Despite Straw suggesting he could use his influence to have laws changed in exchange for payment, the Commissioner finds:

“The question of lobbying for reward or consideration simply does not arise”

On Straw boasting about how his reputation and contacts would be useful to a lobbying firm, the Commissioner says sympathetically:

“A Member’s reputation will be important to them and, inevitably, is part of the “package” on which they may rely when they later seek employment outside the House.”

On Rifkind, the Standards Commissioner explains he has let him off on a technicality:

“Had Sir Malcolm’s offer been taken up, particularly after the second meeting when it was clear that PMR were likely to have further questions relating to the possibility of employing him, Sir Malcolm might then have been in breach of the rules by using parliamentary resources for the purpose of boosting his employment prospects.”

The Commissoner says that while Rifkind made “errors of judgement”, “Sir Malcolm has suffered as a result of the allegations and inferences made, which were covered widely in the media”. Playing the world’s tiniest violin…

UPDATE II: The Telegraph and Dispatches get both barrels from the Standards Commissioner:

“the distorted coverage of the actions and words of the Members concerned has itself been the main cause of the damage… If in their coverage of this story, the reporters for Dispatches and the Daily Telegraph had accurately reported what was said by the two Members in their interviews, and measured their words against the rules of the House, it would have been possible to avoid the damage that has been done to the lives of two individuals and those around them, and to the reputation of the House”

Ouch…

UPDATE III: Channel 4 hit back:

“Channel 4 Dispatches stands by its journalism; this was a fair and accurate account of what the two MPs said. This investigation was in the public interest and revealed matters that were of serious public concern.”




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

Quote of the Day

Boris Johnson was shown a trophy monkey head as he toured a room of illegally-poached animals seized by Scotland Yard. He said:

“What’s this poor chap here? Faint air of a … Labour backbencher.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws
Stasi Files: Corbyn’s Peace Group Infiltrated by Spies Stasi Files: Corbyn’s Peace Group Infiltrated by Spies
Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks” Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks”
Read: Stasi File on Labour Party Read: Stasi File on Labour Party
LISTEN: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day LISTEN: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day
BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons” BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons”
Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade
Aaronovitch Talking S*it Aaronovitch Talking S*it
Live In Truth: Corbyn vs Havel Live In Truth: Corbyn vs Havel
Watson Now Opposes Airing Lurid Historic Claims Against MPs Watson Now Opposes Airing Lurid Historic Claims Against MPs
Green: I Wasn’t Inappropriate to Kate Maltby Green: I Wasn’t Inappropriate to Kate Maltby
Geoff Norcott Drives Corbynistas Crazy Geoff Norcott Drives Corbynistas Crazy
BuzzFeed Runners and Riders BuzzFeed Runners and Riders
BBC Still Ignoring Agent COB Story BBC Still Ignoring Agent COB Story
Moscow’s Man in Westminster Moscow’s Man in Westminster
Waterson New Guardian Media Editor Waterson New Guardian Media Editor
Tories Demand Agent COB Faces Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tories Demand Agent COB Faces Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Vaz Reported to National Crime Agency Over His Finances Vaz Reported to National Crime Agency Over His Finances
Bolton Sacked Bolton Sacked
Agent COB Was ‘Paid Informant’ Alleges Czech Spy Agent COB Was ‘Paid Informant’ Alleges Czech Spy