MP 'probably' took drugs at club

Conservative MP Louise Mensch has admitted she "probably" took drugs before dancing the night away at a jazz club with classical violinist Nigel Kennedy.

The racy novelist today published an email exchange with a man claiming to be an investigative journalist who made a series of allegations about her time in the music industry during the 1990s.

Among them were claims she took drugs at Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham and danced with Mr Kennedy while drunk in front of a group of journalists.

The MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire said: "Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable.

She added: "I thoroughly enjoyed working with Nigel Kennedy, whom I remember with affection.

"Additionally, since I was in my 20s, I'm sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young.

"I am not a very good dancer and must apologise to any and all journalists who were forced to watch me dance that night at Ronnie Scott's."

Mr Kennedy was keen to distance himself politically from his old friend but recalled they had "great times" before warning potential foes she was "pretty scary".

He said: "I am a socialist myself but do remember having some great times with my beautiful and very clever right wing friend.

"Louise is pretty scary and I would warn anyone that it's not a good idea to mess with her."

Mrs Mensch rapidly built up a high media profile after being elected last May, particularly for her role as a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee that grilled the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks over phone hacking.

The mother-of-three has penned a series of successful chick-lit novels, selling more than two million books worldwide, and recently married Peter Mensch, manager of rock group Metallica, dropping her previous surname Bagshawe.

Allegations in the email also include a claim she was sacked from her job as an EMI press officer because she wrote novels of a "sexual nature" during work hours.

Mrs Mensch admitted to writing some of her first book, Career Girls, on her work computer but only after hours.

She added: "It was also not why I was fired by EMI. 'Leaving work early' and 'missing the odd day at work' along with 'inappropriate dress' were the reasons quoted to me."

The MP also insisted she had "not the slightest intention of being deterred from asking how far the culture of hacking and blagging extended in Fleet Street".

Her frank and robust response to the email won her a legion of supporters on internet sites today with praise for her "chutzpah" and deft handling of the allegations.