Mar 28 2010
Two more former Labour ministers have been dragged into the lobbygate row after being secretly filmed offering their government connections and expertise for cash.
Adam Ingram and Richard Caborn denied any wrongdoing but three other former ministers were suspended from the Labour Party last week following similar allegations.
They were facing investigations by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, John Lyon, after the Tories wrote to him demanding he look into the latest disclosures.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown was also under renewed pressure for a full Government inquiry into the lobbying of departments.
Mr Ingram and Mr Caborn were recorded offering their services to help commercial clients for fees of up to £2,500 a day, according to The Sunday Times, which carried out a joint investigation with Channel 4's Dispatches.
Mr Caborn, a former sports minister, claimed he would be able to get "access to ministers" and "information" if he received a peerage, according to the newspaper.
The Sheffield Central MP denied any wrongdoing and said his comments had been taken "out of context", giving the "impression of something improper going on". He said he made it clear that he had not agreed to work for the fake firm, saying: "It would be wrong for me to commit to something that I couldn't do."
A letter from the MP's solicitor to The Sunday Times said his £2,500 rate reflected three days' work.
Mr Ingram, a former defence minister, was filmed saying he could use his contacts to help the fake company develop a relationship with serving ministers and civil servants. The East Kilbride MP said he was paid £1,500 a day or £1,000 a meeting by companies, the newspaper reported, without specifying what the work was.
Former ministers Geoff Hoon, Stephen Byers and Patricia Hewitt were all suspended from the Labour Party last week after being filmed by Dispatches discussing the possibility of working for what they thought was an American lobby firm. Labour backbencher Margaret Moran, who also featured in the programme, was also suspended.