Duncan Smith cleared over 'Betsygate'

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The former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith was cleared of wrongdoing over the "Betsygate" row today.

A House of Commons committee rejected a complaint that Mr Duncan Smith improperly employed his wife Betsy as a secretary.

The Committee on Standards and Privileges dismissed complaints by journalist Michael Crick that Mrs Duncan Smith had not carried out any duties as her husband's diary secretary.

It also dismissed his claim that any work she may have carried out was no more than would be expected by the spouse of a prominent MP and did not amount to 25 hours a week.

Mr Duncan Smith said in a statement: "I am immensely pleased that after a long and detailed inquiry, the committee and the commissioner have cleared Betsy and I of the serious allegations made against us.

"I said at the start of the inquiry that we would be exonerated and today we have been.

"This has been a very difficult time for us but now at last it is over and we can look forward as a family to getting on with our lives."

A Tory Party spokesman said: "We welcome this report which is an unambiguous vindication of IDS. He emerges with his honour and reputation intact."