The daughter of suspended MP Nadine Dorries has insisted her mother was given permission to have one month's leave from her parliamentary duties.
Jennie Dorries told ITV's Daybreak that former chief whip Andrew Mitchell, who resigned last month, agreed that the Mid-Bedfordshire MP could take the time off.
She did not say if the Tory office was aware that her 55-year-old mother would be flying off to the Australian jungle to take part in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!.
Ms Dorries said: "She did ask for the month off. The chief whip gave her permission.
"She did all she had to do before she left.
"She made arrangements for someone to take her place on Remembrance Sunday."
Her sister Cassie admitted she has repeatedly voted for her mother to take part in stomach-churning challenges in the jungle.
Cassie Dorries told Daybreak that she could not help but laugh at her mother's efforts on the notorious bushtucker trials, revealing: "I have voted for my mum for both of the trials - it's much more interesting to see her do it."
So far the MP, who was suspended after it emerged she was heading to the Australian jungle during parliamentary time, has had to cope with chomping on a camel's toe and an ostrich's anus.
The sisters both said they had been hurt by press reports which they branded "untrue".
Cassie said: "Mum's not like that. She's a religious, kind person and does everything with the best intentions."