UK Politics

Labour urges wider standards inquiry into Baroness Warsi

Baroness Warsi
David Cameron has referred Baroness Warsi to his adviser on the ministerial code on separate allegations

Labour has asked David Cameron's adviser on the ministerial code to widen his investigation into Tory co-chairman Baroness Warsi.

Lady Warsi is being investigated after she failed to declare business interests with a man before he joined her on an official trip.

She has apologised for the mistake.

Labour want further allegations that Lady Warsi paid for potential clients to attend a lunch with the PM to also be investigated.

Lady Warsi apologised after it emerged she had failed to declare that she and a relative, Abid Hussain, had stakes in the same firm before travelling together to Pakistan on a government trip in 2010.

The prime minister said he was "very happy" with her assurances but has referred the matter to his adviser on the ministerial code, Sir Alex Allan.

Mr Cameron said he believed the probe was a matter of tying up "loose ends".

Labour MP Michael Dugher has written to Sir Alex, asking him to also consider claims made in The Sunday Telegraph that Lady Warsi may have paid for potential business clients to attend a lunch with the prime minister.

The adviser on the ministerial code is independent of the government, but the BBC understands it is likely he would broaden his investigation to include any credible allegations that have arisen since Mr Cameron asked him to look into the initial claim two weeks ago.

A Conservative party spokesman said: "As we have made clear, the Sunday Telegraph report relates to a party-political event for members of the British Pakistani community.

"To suggest that there was any impropriety in their being invited is simply mischief-making."

Lady Warsi is also being investigated by the Lords Standards Commissioner after referring herself to the watchdog following reports she claimed accommodation allowance while staying with a friend rent-free in 2008.

She says she made "appropriate" payments equivalent to what she was paying at the time in hotel costs.

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