Malcolm Rifkind

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Malcolm Rifkind served in the Foreign Office from 1982-86 as a Minister of State and from 1995-97 as Foreign Secretary. From 1992-95 he was Secretary of State for Defence. He was the MP for Kensington and Chelsea.


NHS Privatisation

In January 2015 it was reported that Alliance Medical, of which Rifkind sits on the board, had won a £80 million contract to run cancer scans for the NHS, despite an NHS consortium, NHS Trust, making an offer to carry out the work for £7 million less. The NHS Trust are challenging the decision.

It is understood Rifkind earns £60,000 for his role with Alliance Medical[2]

Cash for access

<youtube size="medium" align="right" caption="Channel 4 Dispatches / Telegraph | Malcolm Rifkind">R5wYiPeLlsE</youtube> In February 2015, a recording was released of Rifkind being interviewed by two reporters for Channel 4's Dispatches and the Telegraph, posing as consultants working for a Chinese company. It is believed that the reporters emailed 12 MPs asking whether they would be interested in joining a Chinese company's advisory board - half did not respond, one wanted to carry out due diligence and the others were interested. The other MP to be caught on film was Labour's Jack Straw.

In the interview, Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee which oversees the UK’s intelligence agencies, said that in London he can see any ambassador he wants thanks to his former role as foreign minister. He also said he was 'self employed', despite being paid £67,000 from taxpayers, '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.” In order to work for the Chinese company Rifkind said he would expect a salary of between £60,000 and £80,000 and mentioned that a bank paid him in the region of £5,000 and £8,000 for part of a days work.

Rifkind also explained how easy it would be to help the firm invest in Poland, saying he could go and see the Polish ambassador in London, who he knows quite well, and ask if he 'expect[ed] there to be any difficulty from the Government's ... point of view'.

When asked about his thoughts on investing in projects linked to the possibility of a third high-speed train line, Rifkind said:

'What one could quite easily do is find out what is the current detailed state of government thinking.
'What [the company] would obviously wish to know is, well, what is the best judgment at this stage? Is it likely to happen, if so when is it likely to happen, what is the likely route? … Now, for some of these questions there may not yet be answers, but if there are answers then I can easily find out what they are.
'If it’s a matter of government policy then there’s two aspects to government policy. That which they have announced and which is public knowledge … Or in my own case I could, I can write to a minister. I wouldn’t name who I was asking for, but I would say, "I’ve been asked to, to establish what your thinking is on X, Y, Z, can you tell me what that is?" I can get a reply either from the minister or from one of the senior officials.'

He did, however, say he would not be able to gather 'privileged information', but 'there is an awful lot of information which is not secret which if you ask the right questions you’ll get the answer'.[3]

Like Straw, he referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, Kathryn Hudson, and was suspended from his party.[4][5]

In September 2015, the commissioner cleared both Rifkind and Straw of charges that they acted in breach of the code of conduct or the rules of the House [6]. In response to the allegations, Parliament implemented a ban on former MPs taking up work as as paid lobbyists for six months after stepping down. [7]

External interests

Between March 2013 and February 2014 Rifkind was the fourth highest Tory MP for outside earnings, earning £213,283.[8]


Resources, References and Contact



  1. Simon English, ArmorGroup under fire over 'private armies', This is Money, 4 December 2007.
  2. Soloman Hughes NHS Contract Awarded To Private Firm Despite Rival Bid Being “£7 Million Cheaper” Buzfeed, 27 January 2015, accessed 28 January 2015
  3. By Edward Malnick, Claire Newell, Lyndsey Telford and Luke Heighton Ex-ministers Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind brag to business about their political contacts Telegraph, 22 February 2015, accessed 23 February 2015
  4. Ian Johnston 'Cash for access scandal': Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind refer themselves to standards watchdog after being filmed in undercover sting Telegraph, 22 February 2015, accessed 23 February 2015
  5. ITV News, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw face cash-for-access claims, 23 February 2015, accessed 23 February 2015
  6. [ Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw cleared of cash-for-access misconduct ], The Telegraph, 17 September 2015, accessed 2 November 2016.
  7. Lyndsey Telford, Claire Newell, Edward Malnick and Charles Young, Ex-MPs banned from lobbying after 'cash for access' scandal, The Telegraph, 30 September 2015, accessed 2 November 2016.
  8. Vincent Moss Tory MPs earn a combined £4MILLION from their lucrative jobs on the side Mirror, 30 March 2014, accessed 23 February 2015
  9. Sarah Priddy, PIL: Current Members Related to Other Current or Former Members - Commons Library Standard Note, 13 September 2013.