Prime Minister David Cameron faces a rising Tory rebellion in Commons over Culture Secretary's scandalous expenses overspend amid accusations her repayment was too little
Pressure for the resignation of tainted Culture Secretary Maria Miller grew among the Prime Minister’s own troops at Westminster yesterday.
Rebellious rumblings spread among Tory MPs after Mr Cameron failed to act decisively and sack Ms Miller over an expenses scandal.
Demands for her resignation are expected to be voiced by some MPs at tomorrow’s meeting of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee.
Tory malcontents were frightened that Mr Cameron’s arrogant and aloof attitude could spark more media scrutiny of MPs’ expenses.
His praise for Ms Miller’s gobsmacking 32-second meagre “apology” to the Commons last week was widely regarded as an embarrassment to all MPs who fear further exposure of their own finances.
Tories were whipped up further by right-wing former Tory chairman Lord Tebbit, who called for Ms Miller’s resignation.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage also stirred up the Tory ranks by declaring that Mr Cameron should have “kicked out” Ms Miller for her “disastrous error of judgement.”
Labour shadow ministers accused Mr Cameron of letting Ms Miller “off the hook,” but so far they have failed to demand her resignation.
Ms Miller has repaid £5,800 after the tame parliamentary standards committee overruled a demand from the standards commissioner that she should pay back £45,000 in overclaimed mortgage expenses.
Mr Cameron appeared a little less enthusiastic about Ms Miller’s shenanigans yesterday when he faced reporters while touring a London supermarket.
“Maria Miller is in her job and she is doing a good job as Culture Secretary,” he said.
“Also, she went through this process and the committee found that she had made a mistake in her mortgage claims.
“She paid back money. She made an apology and that’s the right thing to do.”
The Daily Telegraph made new allegations yesterday regarding Ms Miller’s Wimbledon home, which she sold this year at a profit of around £1.2 million.
Ms Miller quickly denied the paper’s allegation that she redesignated this property in an attempt to avoid capital gains tax of 28 per cent on profits from the sale of MPs’ second homes.
A spokeswoman for the beleaguered minister described the story as “nonsense,” adding that Ms Miller would “of course” pay any tax that is due.