MATT Hancock is being investigated for allegedly pressurising the Commons standards commissioner as he considered a possible breach of the MPs’ code of conduct.

The watchdog’s website said he was under investigation for “lobbying the commissioner in a manner calculated or intended to influence his consideration of whether a breach of the code of conduct has occurred”.

Allies said the former UK Health Secretary was shocked at the launch of the investigation, claiming it was a “misunderstanding”.

A spokesman for Mr Hancock confirmed the ex-minister had written to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Daniel Greenberg in relation to an inquiry.

But he added: "Mr Hancock is shocked and surprised by the investigation.

"Far from lobbying the commissioner, Matt wrote to Mr Greenberg in good faith to offer some additional evidence that he thought was not only pertinent but helpful for an inquiry the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is currently conducting.

“It’s clearly a misunderstanding and Matt looks forward to fully engaging with the commissioner to clear this up.”

No further details were given, although the commissioner was already carrying out an inquiry into Health and Social Care Committee chairman Steve Brine over claims he lobbied the head of the NHS on behalf of a firm for which he was working as a paid consultant.

The details that led to that probe were revealed in the tranche of leaked Whatsapp messages from Mr Hancock published by the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Hancock was stripped of the Tory whip after swapping Westminster for I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in November.

Mr Greenberg has also launched new investigations into two Tory MPs.

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton had the Tory whip suspended earlier this month after an undercover Times probe allegedly showed him offering to lobby ministers on behalf of gambling investors in exchange for money.

He is under investigation over his use of a parliamentary email address.

Crawley MP Henry Smith’s use of publicly-funded stationery is also being examined.