UK security committee head Malcolm Rifkind steps down over cash-for-access scandal

Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of an influential parliamentary committee which oversees the work of Britain's intelligence services, said on Tuesday he was stepping down after being secretly filmed offering his services to a fake Chinese company. -- P
Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of an influential parliamentary committee which oversees the work of Britain's intelligence services, said on Tuesday he was stepping down after being secretly filmed offering his services to a fake Chinese company. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON (REUTERS) - Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of an influential parliamentary committee which oversees the work of Britain's intelligence services, said on Tuesday he was stepping down after being secretly filmed offering his services to a fake Chinese company.

"None of the current controversy with which I am associated is relevant to my work as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament," Rifkind, a senior lawmaker from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party, said in a statement.

"However, I have today informed my colleagues that while I will remain a member of the Committee, I will step down from the Chairmanship."

Rifkind denies any wrongdoing and told the BBC he had met the company to hear what they had to say but was not negotiating and had not accepted anything from them.The 68-year-old had served as defence minister and foreign minister under former prime minister John Major. He was knighted in 1997.