Cleaner defies baroness

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Indy Politics

The Home Office faced demands last night to reopen its investigation into the illegal immigrant hired by Baroness Scotland after the Attorney-General was accused of lying by her former housekeeper.

Lady Scotland's claim that she scrutinised Loloahi Tapui's passport to check she was entitled to work in Britain was flatly contradicted by the 27-year-old Tongan in The Mail on Sunday. The UK Border Agency, administered by the Home Office, concluded its inquiry by imposing a £5,000 fine on the Attorney-General. The disparity between the two accounts led to fresh demands from opposition parties for Lady Scotland's resignation.

The Attorney-General has maintained she saw all of Ms Tapui's necessary documents, including her passport, before employing her six months ago as her £6-an-hour cleaner.

But Ms Tapui said: "I'll take a lie detector test if I have to, if she's saying I provided a passport. I didn't." She insisted she showed Lady Scotland only her marriage certificate, her P45 and payslips from a previous employer during a 10-minute interview.

Officials from the UK Border Agency found a Tongan passport, apparently with a forged and out-of-date visa, in Ms Tapui's flat in Chiswick, west London.