Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Miller has resigned as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Maria Miller has resigned as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, largely after a lot of defiance to public opinion, and even her own colleagues.
Mrs Miller has harmed her party, and politics in general.
Feelings are especially strong among those Tories who will fight marginal seats next year, and makes it harder for the party to win the seats that will decide the outcome of the next election.
Mrs Miller is generally regarded by colleagues as personally pleasant and affable, albeit a bit distant. But to voters, she has looked like another politician on the take who was caught out and then resorted to legalistic dodges and trickery in order to cling on to her job.
Most of the anger at Mrs Miller is not at her actions but her manner. Her brusque apology to the Commons was seen as insufficient and her behaviour has come across as graceless and evasive.

Much of the rise of Ukip and Nigel Farage is down to Mr Farage’s ability to present himself to voters as an honest man in a world of liars, someone who speaks his mind while others just offer bland soundbites and follow the party line.

Undoubtedly, the Miller saga will fuel the rise of Ukip.
Mrs Miller's camp had, on Tuesday night, attempted a fight-back after days of newspaper headlines, by suggesting she was a victim of a witch-hunt because she was dealing with press reforms recommended in the Leveson report.

In fact she has been her own worst enemy by claiming expenses that she was not entitled to.
 Parliament's sleaze watchdog ordered her to pay back £5,800 of wrongly claimed allowances on the house in Wimbledon, southwest London, which she sold for a £1.2m profit in February. However, it emerged that the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards had found that Mrs Miller should have paid back £45,000 in expenses claimed on the home but this was over-ruled by the Standards Committee of 10 MPs and three independent members, who do not have a vote.

Once again it has led to calls for an end to a system where MPs are allowed to police their own expenses.

When interviewed pm Sky News, Nadine Dorries MP said that. expenses HAVE to be abolished and that the word expenses is toxic. She suggest that MPs should only be able to claim accommodation expenses, and not expenses in relation to a second home, plus travel expenses.

After her resignation, Cameron sent her a letter in which he says;
I think it is important to be clear that the Committee on Standards cleared you of the unfounded allegations made against you, a point which has been lost in much of the comment in recent days.
So why has she had to pay back  £5800

He further says;
“You have been responsible for successfully handling two of the most controversial issues with which this Government has dealt”.
But these are some of the things that have polarised the country.

Cameron is now facing a difficult time at Prime Minister's Questions and a meeting of the Tory back benchers, for his lack of leadership in trying to support Mrs Miller.

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