Posted by Hibatur Rehman
Baroness Warsi, the Conservative chairman, was facing questions last night over whether she breached the ministerial code by promoting her private business at a party function.
She personally paid for potential customers, one of whom was in negotiations over a deal with her firm, to attend a Conservative Party lunch with the Prime Minister last month. The Sunday Telegraph has also learnt that her business partner, Abid Hussain, a former activist with a radical Islamic group who has a conviction for violence, secured an invitation to meet David Cameron at Downing Street, raising questions over the Prime Minister’s security.
The disclosures put Lady Warsi under fresh scrutiny.
Mr Cameron has already asked Sir Alex Allan, the independent adviser on ministerial conduct, to investigate after The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that she had not declared a majority stake in Rupert’s Recipes, a restaurant supply firm whose other shareholder is Mr Hussain. However the disclosure that she apparently used a political function to promote her business appears to breach clause one of the Ministerial Code, which states: “Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests.”
Last night Labour said it would table further questions on Lady Warsi’s conduct. Michael Dugher, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “These latest allegations take the scandal to David Cameron’s doorstep and to the heart of Downing Street. “The Conservative Party chairman seems to have been giving her private business associate – a man who has admitted being involved in an extremist Islamist group – access to the corridors of power.”