Cameron wants `answers` from Pak-origin Tory chair

Last Updated: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 08:45

London: Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Sayeeda Warsi, the Pakistan-origin co-chairperson of the Conservative party, has "questions to answer" following new allegations of financial impropriety.

Warsi, who is a minister without portfolio in Cameron`s Cabinet, was last week accused of claiming reimbursement for overnight accommodation when she actually stayed free at a friend`s house in London.

The latest allegations relate to her failure to declare her directorship and majority shareholding in a spice company, after which Cameron said last evening that she had "questions to answer".

Warsi, who referred herself to Parliamentary watchdog following allegations over expenses, has denied any wrong-doing after the latest allegations were reported in the news media.

In a statement, Warsi said, "My shareholdings and, before becoming a minister, directorships have at all material times been disclosed as required on the Register of Lords` Interests and to the Cabinet Office and on the register of ministerial interests."

According to the Lords code of conduct, members must register share holdings in firms in which they hold a controlling interest or if they are valued at more than 50,000 pounds.

Asked if she had acted improperly, Cameron said, "I am satisfied that there are questions that have been raised and there are questions which have to be answered. I am satisfied that will happen."

Baroness Warsi, 41, had admitted claiming reimbursement for overnight accommodation when she actually stayed free at a friend`s house in London. She also admitted failing to declare rental income from a flat she owns in Wembley between January 2011 and May 2012 in the House of Lords register of interests.

Warsi insisted that she made an "appropriate payment" for the nights she stayed at a property occupied by Conservative official Naweed Khan, but reports said that the owner of the flat denied that he received any income from either Warsi or Khan.

PTI



First Published: Monday, June 4, 2012 - 08:45

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