Crick hands over Duncan Smith dossier

Investigative journalist Michael Crick has handed over to Westminster's standards watchdog a dossier of evidence alleging that Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith wrongly employed his wife as a secretary.

Mr Crick delivered the documentation to the Westminster office of Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

On his way into Sir Philip's office, Mr Crick spoke briefly to waiting reporters. He said: "A number of senior Tories have made serious allegations to Newsnight over the last few months about the way in which Iain Duncan Smith employed his wife Betsy on the parliamentary payroll from the period September 2001 to December of last year, a period of 15, 16 months."

He went on: "Given the nature of the sources and the allegations they are making, plus other evidence that we have gathered, and given Mr Duncan Smith's threats to sue, I felt the best course of action is to take this to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

"It now seems that Mr Duncan Smith has decided the same thing and let's hope that he (Sir Philip) can resolve it."

Mr Crick took just a couple of minutes to deliver his dossier then left Sir Philip's office without further comment.

Mr Duncan Smith insisted he had done nothing wrong in employing his wife Betsy during the first year of his leadership and threatened to sue over newspaper allegations.

Mr Duncan Smith said he had already intended to ask the Commissioner, Sir Philip Mawer, to investigate "so that we can see the full facts and clear this up once and for all."

"I completely and absolutely rebut any allegation about wrong-doing," he said in a statement.

"These allegations are without foundation and are malicious and I will be contacting the Commissioner."

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