Peer faces probe call over expenses
Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi is facing calls for an investigation into her expenses over allegations that she claimed for overnight accommodation when staying at a friend's house rent-free.
Lady Warsi insists that she made an "appropriate payment" for the nights she stayed at a property occupied by Tory official Naweed Khan.
However - according to reports in The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph - the owner of the property in Acton, West London, denies that he received any income from either Lady Warsi or Mr Khan.
The Tory peer, now a Cabinet Office minister, was at the time claiming Lords subsistence of £165.50 a night.
Labour MP John Mann said he would be asking the Lords commissioner for standards to investigate.
"If you are paying no rent where you are staying, you can't possibly be claiming subsistence for staying there," he said. "It all seems very murky. We need a full investigation into the matter."
In a further embarrassment for Lady Warsi, the most senior Muslim politician in Britain, she has admitted failing to declare rental income on a London flat in the Lords register of interests. She said the omission was due to an "oversight", adding that she had reported the letting of her Wembley flat in the Register of Ministers' Interests.
Shadow business minister Chuka Umunna later called for an inquiry. He told BBC1's Sunday Politics: "To rebuild trust and demonstrate this is being dealt with in a proper way there has to be a proper, independent investigation."
Conservative deputy chairman Michael Fallon acknowledged the controversy was "embarrassing" but said Lady Warsi believed she acted within the "spirit and letter" of the rules. Speaking to Sky News, Mr Fallon said Lady Warsi had paid the other tenant but not the owner of the Acton property.
"These sorts of thing are always embarrassing but the key thing here is that Lady Warsi has admitted she's made a mistake, she's apologised for it," he said. "She's corrected the record now and she's very happy to co-operate with any investigation back into her claims and I think it should be left at that until any investigation is reported."