CLAIMS that Basingstoke MP Maria Miller received a preferential rent for her Basingstoke constituency homes have been dismissed by the Cabinet Office, a spokesman said tonight.
A Daily Telegraph report on Thursday said that the Culture Secretary's “main home” in Basingstoke was rented by Mrs Miller from former Basingstoke Conservative Association chairman Nigel McNair Scott at preferential rents - allegedly £6,000-a-year less than currently advertised.
The two different properties within the borough were reported to have been rented in succession between 2005 to 2009, the same period she claimed 90,718 for her tax-payer funded second home in Wimbledon, south London.
In a statement, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said there was no case to answer over the claims of preferential rents. He said: “In the light of media allegations relating to Maria Miller, the Prime Minister, having consulted the Cabinet Secretary is satisfied that there is no evidence of the property being rented on preferential terms and therefore no breach of the Ministerial Code.”
Government ministers are under a duty to declare a perceived conflict of interest to Whitehall officials. Mr McNair Scott is the chairman of property company Helical Bar, and is a supporter of the Conservative Party. His wife, Anna McNair Scott is a Conservative Hampshire County Councillor for the Candovers division.
The £90,718 claimed in mortgage benefit, and other expenses for the Wimbledon property is under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon following a complaint from Labour MP John Mann.