[Downing Street aides were particularly nervous about comments Ms Moran is believed to have made suggesting that she was able to influence immigration policy on behalf of clients – although The Mail on Sunday understands that this section has been cut from the final edit.]
This is as bad as it gets. Politicians up for sale and the immigration issue is once again front and center of it. For the Tundra Tabloids’ US readers, just think of the Abscam scandal. KGS
Labour has been plunged into a cash-for-access row after three former Cabinet Ministers were secretly filmed discussing how they could help a fake lobbying company – with one boasting that he was a ‘cab for hire’ for £5,000 a day.In the most damaging revelations, ex-Transport Minister Stephen Byers claimed that he managed to save ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ for one company by using his influence with his successor Lord Adonis over a rail franchise.Mr Byers also claimed that he had boosted the business interests of Tesco by phoning Peter Mandelson, and said that he could bring Tony Blair to meet clients of the lobbying company which was, in fact, a front for an undercover operation.Other shocking revelations from the sting include:Former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt claiming that for £3,000 a day she could help clients to influence legislation, boasting that ‘if you’ve got a client who needs a particular regulation removed, then we can often package that up [for a Minister]’Former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon promising to lead a delegation of clients to meet Ministers, and saying that he wanted to turn his knowledge and contacts into ‘something that frankly makes money’. He quoted £3,000 a day.Another Labour MP, Margaret Moran, boasting she could ring a ‘girls’ gang’ of colleagues, including Jacqui Smith, Hazel Blears, Caroline Flint and Harriet Harman, on behalf of clients.