Watchdog considers Warsi's claims
May 28 2012
The Lords Commissioner for Standards is considering whether to investigate allegations over under-pressure Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi's expenses.
The Cabinet minister asked Paul Kernaghan to look into accusations she claimed for accommodation while staying at a friend's house rent free, a Conservative Party spokeswoman said.
Prime Minister David Cameron backed Lady Warsi, who insisted her expenses claims were "both in accordance with the law and the spirit of the rules".
Mr Kernaghan will carry out "a preliminary assessment" before deciding the next course of action.
Lady Warsi said she would co-operate with any inquiry, but declined to answer questions over whether she would resign over the row.
Speaking to ITV News during a visit to Malaysia, she 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."
Standards Commissioner Mr Kernaghan, who took up his role in June 2010 following a series of peers' expenses scandals, was invited to investigate allegations which surfaced over the weekend.
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