Miller’s apology over mortgage expense claims

Kate McCann
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GOVERNMENT minister Maria Miller has been forced to apologise to the House of Commons after a committee found she breached the MPs code of conduct and failed to fully cooperate with an inquiry into her expenses.

Miller will be forced to pay back £5,800 after she overclaimed for mortgage payments in 2009 and some are calling for her to resign her position as culture secretary.

The committee also called for her to apologise to MPs, which she did in a personal statement lasting just 30 seconds yesterday. “The committee has recommended that I apologise to the house for my attitude towards the commissioner’s inquiry, and I, of course, unreservedly apologise,” Miller said.

The majority of her claims were deemed legitimate by the committee investigating a report that Miller claimed for both her home in the constituency and a house in Wimbledon between 2005 and 2009.

But MPs have criticised the committee for not taking action on additional recommendations made by the standards commissioner in her report. Kathryn Hudson’s highly critical conclusion was published in an appendix to the committee report and asserted that Miller may have overclaimed by £44,000 between 2005 and 2009 and used public funds to support her parents, who lived in the house. The committee failed to take on board many of these additional claims but did criticise Miller for being uncooperative and in some cases obstructive during the investigation.