Former foreign minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been suspended

Sir Malcolm RifkindReuters/Christopher Furlong/PoolFormer Defence Secretary Malcolm Rifkind arrives for former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London April 17, 2013.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former foreign minister under Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Major, has been suspended by the Conservative party, the Guardian reports.

Rifkind, who was set to compete in the upcoming General Election, is one of two former ministers at the centre of a scandal for out-of-work benefits in Westminster, the other being Jack Straw, the former Labour minister.

Rifkind and Straw have allegedly aggreed to lobby in favour of a supposed Chinese company, a breech of the House of Commons code of conduct, that states that members of Parliaments are not allowed to be paid to lobby.

The investigation was conducted by reporters from the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 Dispatches.

In one of the undercover videos that are part of the investigation, Rifkind describes himself as “self-employed” despite the £67,000 salary he receives as an MP.

According to the Guardian, the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron has confirmed that Rifkind has been suspended, but “suggested that the party will decide his fate quickly so that, if cleared, he can stand again at the election.”

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