MP Harriett Baldwin is facing criticism for trying to claim back a £50 donation to St Richard’s Hospice on expenses.

The MP bought a ticket to an awards ceremony at the Worcester-based hospice and submitted a claim, which was rejected by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

And her Labour opponent at the last general election has branded the move as “highly irregular”.

The exposure of the donation followed a freedom of information request made after Mrs Baldwin was appointed minister for Africa in Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle last week.

The claim stems from Mrs Baldwin’s attendance at the Worcestershire Women of the Year 2013 awards ceremony, which was hosted by St Richard’s Hospice, which cares for 3,000 people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Samantha Charles, who was Labour’s candidate for West Worcestershire at the last general election and has just joined Malvern Town Council, said: “It seems highly irregular for an MP to make a donation on a visit and then claim back that donation on expenses.

“Harriet Baldwin should immediately clarify why she felt it appropriate to claim back the donation she made to the hospice at the expense of the taxpayer.

“We’ve all heard that charity starts at home and you have to look after number one, but in this instance it seems that Harriet Baldwin has taken this to the extreme.”

In a statement, the MP said: “In 2013, I attended an event as the local MP for which there was a ticket charge. The claim was rejected by the independent body responsible for verifying expense claims.

"I have every confidence in IPSA and the job it does delivering transparency to the way Members of Parliament carry out their duties. I make many donations to local charities but of course they are made from my own resources.”

St Richard’s Hospice fundraising director Tricia Cavell said: “We’re always delighted when our local politicians attend our events and support our care.”

Mrs Baldwin, aged 57, has been an MP since 2010, and in that time she has successfully claimed £1.1 million in expenses.

Previous ministerial posts she has held as economic secretary to the Treasury, and parliamentary under secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence.