Saturday, March 20, 2010

News of the World: "Former Cabinet ministers embroiled in cash-for-access row"

This story, which reports on tomorrow night's Dispatches - "Politicians for Hire" - on Channel 4, has just gone up on the News of the World Politics blog.

Twenty senior MPs and peers were offered payments of up to £35,000 a year for helping a fake firm forge lucrative links with the government.

Six of them demanded between £3,000 and £5,000 A DAY to sit on a make-believe advisory board.

And several are said to have exaggerated their influence in the hope of cashing in.

Ex-Transport Secretary Stephen Byers even claimed he was like a “cab for hire” to the tricksters as he boasted about how he still has a direct line to the heart of government.

Others caught up in the sting include ex-Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, ex-Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and former whip Margaret Moran.

To see how fair is we will have to watch Dispatches tomorrow.

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