Nadine Dorries' Expenses To Be Investigated

Controversial Conservative MP Nadine Dorries is facing an investigation into her expenses claims by the parliamentary expenses watchdog.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) compliance officer Peter Davis said he had reason to believe Ms Dorries may have been paid travel and accommodation costs she was not entitled to.

"An investigation will be conducted into claims submitted under the following areas of the third and fourth editions of the MPs' scheme of business costs and expense - accommodation expenditure, travel and subsistence," he said in a statement.

Ms Dorries has denied ever claiming "a penny" that she was not entitled to, telling Sky News that she was "totally relaxed" about the investigation.

The Mid-Bedfordshire MP said she believes Ipsa is "targeting" her in order to try to justify its own funding to taxpayers because of her high profile as an MP since her appearance in the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!.

Ms Dorries said: "Ipsa are desperate to get an investigation, I'm a high profile MP after going in the jungle which made them start crawling all over me, I'm considering whether it's harassment."

She said Ipsa was accusing her of subletting her flat because an electricity bill for a three-month period last summer when her daughter was home from university was higher than her normal bills.

As a lone parent she said she was entitled to have her daughter stay with her, adding: "I know I'm known as Mad Nad but I'd have to be insane if I'd done that (sublet the flat)."

The second allegation relates to a travel ticket claim that was submitted twice in error by a member of staff who had accidentally "pressed the button twice", she said.

"Ipsa was asleep on the bloody job not filtering out claims like that," she added.

Ms Dorries remains suspended from the Tory whip following her appearance on I'm A Celebrity.

Usually a prolific tweeter, she posted a message a few hours before the investigation was announced, saying: "I'm taking a break from Twitter for the half term week and spending some time getting some fresh air with my three girls."