CULTURE Secretary Maria Miller was sacked by Prime Minister Cameron late on Tuesday night, after Tory MPs and local Tory parties threatened the position of the Tory Party leader.
Miller was accused of dragging the party though the mud after Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards had recommended that she be made to repay £45,000 expenses, only for the House of Commons Standards Committee to quash this, saying that she only had to repay £5,800 of the expenses she had claimed.
Tory MPs were furious that Miller had reopened the Pandora’s Box of MPs expenses, and that it would cost them the election.
Miller’s ‘attitude’ to the investigation into her conduct was ruled to have been in breach of the parliamentary code of conduct but her ‘apology’ for her behaviour was worse – it lasted just 32 seconds, treating the House of Commons with contempt.
She had also been accused of threatening the press in response to their reporting of the scandal by reminding them that as Culture Secretary she was responsible for the implementation of the Leveson Inquiry recommendations.
Cameron’s official spokesman said that he and Miller had discussed her future on Tuesday night and her resignation was confirmed on Wednesday morning.
In a TV interview, she tried to deny that she had been sacked, saying: ‘I take full responsibility for my decision to resign. I think it’s the right thing to do.’ In a barbed show of loyalty, she continued: ‘I continue to support, obviously, my colleagues here in Parliament, the government, and above all the prime minister.’
Labour MP John Mann, whose complaint sparked the investigation into Miller’s expenses, welcomed her resignation. He said: ‘My reaction is it’s about time too . . . Maria Miller should have resigned immediately and when she didn’t resign, David Cameron should have shown a bit of leadership and he should have sacked her.’
Dave Wiltshire Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance commented to News Line: ‘Good riddance, she’s gone now let’s get a general strike called and get rid of the lot of them!’