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Maria Miller resigns as culture secretary

Maria Miller has resigned as culture secretary saying that her “present situation has become a distraction from the vital work the government is doing”. 

Her exit from the cabinet comes after a media furore following an investigation into her expenses, in which Miller was ordered to repay £5,800 in overclaimed expenses relating to the mortgage on her ‘second’ home in Wimbledon – bought nine years before her election to parliament in 2005. 

She has faced intense pressure because the sum was considerably lower than the £45,000 repayment recommended by the standards watchdog Kathryn Hudson. Over the last few days media pressure had grown on the culture secretary after she issued an abrupt and perfunctory 32-second apology over her expenses. 

In her resignation letter to David Cameron, Miller said: “I will continue to support you and the work of the government as you move forward. Ensuring the best future for the people of Basingstoke has been my priority throughout the last nine years. Whether on the front or back benches of the House of Commons I will continue this work.” 

In response the prime minister pointed out that Miller had been “cleared of the original complaint” lodged by the Labour MP John Mann. “A point which has been lost in much of the comment in recent days,” he added. 

Conservative MP Sajid Javid has been named as the new culture secretary. The MP for Bromsgrove has been promoted from his current role as Financial Secretary to the Treasury. 

(PA Wire/Stefan Rousseau) 

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