Malcom Rifkind has announced that he will stand down as chair of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) with immediate effect. The committee is due to publish a report into privacy and security arising from the leaks by the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden ahead of the general election in May.
Two major advocates of mass surveillance, Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind were exposed for their involvement in a new “cash for access” scandal. They offered to use their positions on behalf of a fictitious Chinese company in return for payments of at least £5,000 per day.
Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:
"Malcom Rifkind's resignation as ISC chair should be seen as an opportunity. It ought to be the Intelligence and Security Committee's job to ask the difficult questions and hold the spooks to account. Instead all too often Rifkind was a cheerleader for the surveillance state. It's time for an independent-minded critical chair."
"How can two politicians who support indiscriminate mass surveillance possibly object to targeted journalism on the basis that their privacy is being violated? Perhaps they should be less cavalier about all of our privacy, not upset when caught out."
"Rifkind claimed that the allegations against him have no bearing on his work with the ISC. If he can't understand why foolish, unguarded comments by a senior figure to an unverified Chinese company should raise security questions, then he should never have been chair of ISC in the first place."