Earlier this week, Mrs [Maria] Miller was exposed by this newspaper for claiming more than £90,000 for a second home used by her parents.
The arrangement is banned under Parliamentary rules. Mrs Miller has since claimed that her elderly parents are dependents and therefore need to live with her.
However, Parliamentary sleaze watchdogs have previously stated that, in this situation, they should live in an MP’s main home or the taxpayer should be compensated for the costs of their accommodation.
Okay – looks like a politician has been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Stock standard story.
The political response:
In a phone call to the editor of this newspaper, [Director of Communications for UK Prime Minister David Cameron] Craig Oliver indicated that the article may be poorly timed as “she [Maria Miller] is looking at Leveson at the moment.”
The comments came less than 24 hours after an adviser to the Culture Secretary telephoned a reporter working on an article about Mrs Miller’s expense claims to “flag up” the minister’s role in implementing new press rules.
[Craig Oliver] then raised the fact that Mrs Miller was leading the Government’s response to the Leveson Report which recommended statutory press regulation.
Resignations all round I suspect is the only way Cameron can slither away from this.
Well done the Daily Telegraph!
The Daily Telegraph has decided to disclose details of the private conversations amid widespread concern about the potential dangers of politicians being given a role in overseeing the regulation of the press.
Funnily enough Leveson seems to have denied that this was ever his intention in the clips I posted this morning.