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Michael Dugher MP, Labour's Shadow Minister without Portfolio, has today asked the Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests to consider reports that Baroness Warsi may have broken the Ministerial Code in other respects than those for which she is already being investigated:

- The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that Baroness Warsi personally paid for potential business clients to attend a Conservative Party lunch last month with the Prime Minister.

- There are concerns that Baroness Warsi may have used official overseas visits to conduct party political business, not least because her primary role is as co-chairman of the Conservative Party and because she has no listed ministerial responsibilities for foreign affairs.

The full text of Michael Dugher's letter is below and attached:

Sir Alex Allan KCB
Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS
 
18 June 2012
 
Dear Sir Alex,  
 
I am writing with regards to your investigation into the conduct of Baroness Warsi and whether she has breached the Ministerial Code of Conduct.    
 
On 4 June 2012, the Prime Minister asked you to investigate whether the Conservative Party co-chairman, Baroness Warsi, breached the Ministerial Code when she failed to disclose her business relationship with Mr Abid Hussain before he accompanied her on an official visit to Pakistan.
 
Since then, however, it has also come to light that Baroness Warsi may have breached the Ministerial Code in other respects.  The Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday that Baroness Warsi personally paid for potential business clients to attend a Conservative Party lunch last month with the Prime Minister.  This revelation - that she has apparently used a political function to promote her business interests - appears to breach clause 1 of the Ministerial Code, which states that: “Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests.”
 
These allegations are very worrying as it appears that Baroness Warsi may have been using her position to give her private business associates, and potential business clients, access to Ministerial colleagues.  

Additionally, there are also concerns that Baroness Warsi may have used official overseas visits to conduct party political business, not least because her primary role is as co-chairman of the Conservative Party and because she has no listed ministerial responsibilities for foreign affairs.  Clause 10 of the Ministerial Code states that: “Official transport should not normally be used for travel arrangements arising from Party or private business, except where this is justified on security grounds.” 
 
I hope that you will now examine these significant new disclosures to ensure that your important investigation is carried out as fully as possible.  I would be grateful if you could confirm that this is the case.
 
I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Yours sincerely,

Michael Dugher MP      
Shadow Minister without Portfolio

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