ROSSENDALE and Darwen MP Janet Anderson today refused to comment on claims that she abused her position to gain favours for her family.

The Tories are planning to step up their attack on Mrs Anderson over allegations that as Minister for Pop Music she accepted tickets to a London nightclub for her daughter's 18th birthday party.

Shadow trade minister John Redwood and Conservative culture spokesman Peter Ainsworth will table questions when Parliament returns this week over whether the gifts, arranged through the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and music giant Sony Entertainment, compromised her position.

But Downing Street and Hyndburn MP Greg Pope were quick to rally to the support of Mrs Anderson who claimed she had done no wrong.

A national newspaper reported that the tickets were for Mrs Anderson's daughter Kate and 11 friends at the exclusive Brown's nightclub in London, where membership is £500 a year.

The report said a fax sent by the BPI, the record industry's trade association, said the "gift" to Mrs Anderson would "help the industry relations enormously".

But Mrs Anderson told national newspapers: "I accepted it on behalf of my daughter. I checked with the relevant authorities, i.e. the registrar of members' interests, whether there was any need to register it and he assured me there was not. This was an offer made to me by the BPI. It was a personal arrangement.

"I am not responsible for what people put in faxes."

Downing Street said Prime Minister Tony Blair was satisfied that Mrs Anderson had done the "right thing" and Mr Pope, north west regional whip, said: "This is a non story. Janet is a really good minister and she doesn't deserve this."

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