He said: "Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw emphatically deny any wrongdoing in relation to last night's Channel programme. The report of the parliamentary standards watchdog will not be available until after the general election. Nevertheless, their conduct was at the very least imprudent as they fell victim to a classic 'sting' operation.
"I think that Sir Malcolm is right to stand down as a MP and as chairman of the key intelligence and security committee. He was a MP for whom I had respect and he has lost that respect, particularly though his foolish comment about how much he needs to live on. I am afraid that this affair brings politics into further disrepute at a time when it is important for voters to engage in a crucial general election."
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