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Baroness Warsi Refers Herself To Watchdog
Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi has referred herself to the Lords Commissioner for Standards amid allegations over her expenses.
The minister without portfolio has asked Paul Kernaghan to investigate accusations she claimed expenses for accommodation while staying at a friend's house rent free.
Lady Warsi denies any wrongdoing, insisting her expenses claims were "both in accordance with the law and the spirit of the rules".
Labour MP John Mann has been urging Mr Kernaghan to investigate the allegations against Lady Warsi.
Speaking during a trip to Malaysia, the Conservative peer said: "I take these allegations very seriously.
"It's why I said right at the outset that I would fully co-operate with any investigation.
"I believe that being a member of the House of Lords is a privilege. I take that privilege seriously.
"It's why I have always ensured that my conduct including in relation to expenses and allowances is both in accordance with the law and the spirit of the rules."
She is accused of claiming thousands of pounds of public money for overnight accommodation when actually staying at a friend's house in Acton, west London, for free.
She insists she did pay her way - but appears to have paid another guest at the house, her friend Naweed Khan, a Conservative Party official, rather than the owner of the property.
The owner of the townhouse in Acton, Dr Wafik Moustafa, told Sky News: "She came and stayed at the end of 2007 several weeks after she was elevated to the House of Lords."
He added: "Rent has never been discussed and I have never received money or asked for money from Baroness Warsi or Naweed Khan."
Lady Warsi has already admitted she failed to declare thousands of pounds in rental income on a separate property.
She said the omission was due to an "oversight", adding that she had since reported the letting of her Wembley flat in the Register of Ministers' Interest.