Reporter urges Duncan Smith inquiry

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith is facing fresh claims over his employment of his wife as a secretary.

Investigative journalist Michael Crick has handed the Westminster standards watchdog an internal Conservative Party document said to raise further questions about her work.

Mr Crick said he would be "astonished" if the watchdog did not launch a full investigation.

He has produced a seven-page memo from Christine Watson, Mr Duncan Smith's private secretary and former constituency secretary.

He said it painted a "very different picture" to that set out in a statement by Ms Watson and Mr and Mrs Duncan Smith.

Mr Crick told BBC2's The Daily Politics that the memo showed Ms Watson was "solely" running Mr Duncan Smith's "very busy" constituency office without any assistance.

Asked if he thought there would be a full parliamentary investigation into his claims Mr Crick said: "I would be astonished if there was not."

Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, told the programme he would look at the allegations "properly, fairly and expeditiously".

Shadow education secretary Damian Green defended Mr Duncan Smith. "I have every confidence that the parliamentary commissioner will clear Iain absolutely and this will all be done and dusted," he said.

Mr Duncan Smith has totally refuted any wrongdoing. He has given Sir Philip a 40-page dossier, with signed statements by himself, his wife and four people who worked for him during the period in question. The dossier compiled by Mr Duncan Smith said his wife worked considerably longer than the 25 hours she was contracted to work and was of real help to his other staff.

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