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Tory peer stands by expenses claims
Under-pressure Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi has insisted that her expenses claims were "both in accordance with the law and the spirit of the rules".
Cabinet minister Lady Warsi is facing a possible investigation into her parliamentary expenses amid allegations she claimed for accommodation while staying at a friend's house rent-free.
The House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, former chief constable Paul Kernaghan, is being asked by Labour MP John Mann to conduct an inquiry into the Tory peer's claims.
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."
Downing Street has so far made no show of support for the peer. Tory deputy chairman Michael Fallon said only that Lady Warsi "believes" she acted within the rules, but he admitted that the controversy was embarrassing for the party.
Lady Warsi insisted she made an "appropriate payment" to her friend - Tory official Naweed Khan, who is now one of her aides - for the nights she stayed at the property in Acton, west London.
Mr Khan supported her assertion, releasing a statement saying she made a payment each time she stayed. But the property's owner, GP and former Conservative donor Wafik Moustafa, denied receiving any income from either Lady Warsi or Mr Khan.
The peer, now a Cabinet Office minister, was claiming Lords subsistence of £165.50 a night at the time in 2008 to which the allegations relate.