Ken Clarke on “Bloody Difficult Woman” Theresa May

Ken Clarke and Malcolm Rifkind were caught having a frank exchange of views with their mics on on Sky. Here are a few choice moments:

Ken Clarke on Crabb: “I don’t know what Crabb’s views are on most things”

Malcolm Rifkind on Gove: “I don’t mind who wins as long as Gove comes third”

Ken Clarke on Leadsom: “So long as she understands that she’s not to deliver on some of the extremely stupid things she’s been saying”

Ken Clark on May: “Theresa’s a bloody difficult woman but you and I worked for Margaret Thatcher”

Ouch…

UPDATE:

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.”

“Kensington and Chelsea” Embarrasses Hacks

Nothing like a political scandal to flush out some sloppy journalism. Malcolm Rifkind is standing down from Kensington. Not Kensington and Chelsea. The parliamentary constituency of Kensington and Chelsea does not exist any more: it was scrapped in 2010 when the seat was redrawn. What was once one of the safest Tory seats in the country now has a majority of just over 8,000. That hasn’t stopped national newspapers, broadcast journalists, lobbyists and assorted political hacks displaying a shameful lack of knowledge about their patch:

Nope

Guido wouldn’t ‘bet’ on that!

But Boris has a bigger majority in Uxbridge, oh wise hack?

Really?

BBC.

And Sky…

Et tu, FT?

Partial reporter? Partial with the facts more like!

Even self-proclaimed Parliamentary experts get it wrong.

Perhaps most embarrassingly the Indy even ran this terrible headline:

Don’t tell Peter Oborne, but there’s another subbing error in the Telegraph:

Tut tut.

Angry Rifkind Doorstepped By Sky News

 

“None of your business,” Rifkind told Sky earlier when asked if he was going to resign…

POLL: Should Rifkind Resign From Intelligence Select Committee?


Should Sir Malcolm Rifkind stand down to spend more time with the lifestyle to which he aspires?

Quote of the Day

George Galloway asks Hugo Rifkind for his view on the day’s events. He replies:

“Thanks for asking, George. I suppose I’d just say I salute my dad’s courage, strength and indefatigability. Hope this helps.”

Tories Suspend Rifkind

 

Following his meeting with Michael Gove this morning:

He says he’s not sorry and he’s not standing down from the ISC…

UPDATE: Live reaction from Rifkind to the news on the Daily Politics:

WATCH: Rifkind And Straw – The Footage



According to Dispatches:

The fictitious company
PMR, a communications agency based in Hong Kong was set up, backed by a fictitious Chinese businessman. PMR has plenty of money to spend and wants to hire influential British politicians to join its advisory board and get a foothold in the UK and Europe.

12 MPs who already had significant outside interests were invited to apply for jobs with PMR.
Not all politicians are for hire. Half of those approached didn’t respond. One said he wanted to check us out in Hong Kong so we took it no further. And another said he just wasn’t that interested. Of the others, two stood out – Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw.

12 eh? Hope IPSO don’t get on their fishing trip high horse again…

Straw and Rifkind Caught in Cash for Access Sting

Jack Straw is filmed boasting:

“I’m well aware of the fact that I bring my name. I know everyone anyway, I’ve got their phone numbers… If I’m doing a speech or something, it’s £5,000 a day, that’s what I charge.”

And explaining how he used 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”

Intelligence committee chairman Malcolm Rifkind, when asked by undercover reporters how he could help a fictional Chinese company:

“You’d be surprised how much free time I have. I spend a lot of time reading, I spend a lot of time walking. I’m self-employed. So nobody pays me a salary.”

Read the full Telegragh/Dispatches story here

UPDATE: These are payments declared by Straw from commodities company ED & F MAN Holdings. Straw told the reporters he had helped a commodities company which paid him £60,000-a-year change EU law:

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 22.10.53

UPDATE II: Straw has been suspended from the Labour Party.

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