POLITICS
23/02/2015 11:54 GMT | Updated 23/02/2015 13:59 GMT

Jack Straw Once Mocked 'Stupid' Labour Colleagues Caught In Cash For Access Sting

Jack Straw insisted he is "mortified" to have been caught in a cash for access sting, but he won't get much sympathy from some Labour colleagues.

Back in 2010, Straw had little sympathy for Labour MPs Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon when they fell for a sting by undercover reporters.

“There is such anger in the Parliamentary Labour Party, as well as I may say incredulity, about their stupidity in allowing themselves to be suckered in a sting like this," he said. "Their behaviour, prima facie, does indeed bring the Parliamentary Labour Party, as well as Parliament, into disrepute, because it appears that former Cabinet ministers are more interested in making money than they are in properly representing their constituents.”

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Straw's strident criticism makes it all the more embarrassing now he has been caught appearing to offer his contacts to benefit a private company in return for payments of thousands of pounds.

At one meeting with Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 reporters, Straw is said to have described how he operated "under the radar" to use his influence to change European Union rules on behalf of a commodity firm which paid him £60,000 a year.

Straw talking to undercover reporters

Following the reports, the former Labour cabinet minister, who is standing down at the election, said he had agreed to suspend himself from the parliamentary Labour Party and refer himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards despite insisting he has done nothing wrong "because of the way this appears".

"Of course I am kicking myself," Straw unsurprisingly admitted today.

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