Jack Straw has been suspended from the Labour Party in a "cash for access" scandal.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the former foreign secretary, along with Tory MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, were caught out in a sting by the newspaper.

The MP's were secretly filmed by the Daily Telegraph in a joint investigation with Channel 4's Dispatches programme apparently offering to use their influence in return for money.

Undercover reporters claiming to represent a Hong Kong-based communications agency called PMR, contacted the two senior MPs to say they were seeking to hire senior British politicians to join the company's advisory board. At one meeting, Mr Straw is alleged to have described how he operated "under the radar" to use his influence to change EU rules for a commodity company which paid him £60,000 a year.

The newspaper reported he claimed to have used "charm and menace" to convince the Ukrainian prime minister to change laws on behalf of the same company.

Sir Malcolm is said to have claimed he could arrange "useful access" to British ambassadors.

A spokesperson from the Labour Party said: "We have seen the disturbing allegations against Jack Straw in the Daily Telegraph. The Chief Whip has spoken to Jack Straw. He has agreed to refer himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and in the meantime he has agreed the best course of action is to suspend himself from the Parliamentary Labour Party."

Sir Malcolm has also referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Both men have strongly denied any wrongdoing.