Basingstoke MP Maria Miller to be criticised for expense claims on second home (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Basingstoke MP Maria Miller to be criticised for expense claims on second home
BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller is to be criticised for her expense claims on a second home following an investigation, according to reports in the national media.
The Mail on Sunday reported yesterday that Mrs Miller’s political future is in doubt after watchdogs found fault with the culture secretary’s £90,000 claims on a second home.
The newspaper reported that Mrs Miller will be criticised by parliamentary standards officials over claiming the taxpayer-funded allowances on a home where her parents also lived.
An investigation was conducted by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, after Mrs Miller claimed expenses for a second home in Wimbledon between 2005 and 2009.
The Mail on Sunday said it understands that the Commons’ Standards Committee, which rules on MPs’ conduct, has been advised that for at least part of the four years, Mrs Miller should not have claimed second-home costs for her Wimbledon home.
The report prepared by Ms Hudson is said to conclude that Mrs Miller should have nominated her rented Basingstoke home as her second home.
The investigation into the Mrs Miller's claims of £90,718 for her second home was launched in December 2012 by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, after the office received a complaint from Bassetlaw Labour MP, John Mann.
The complaint from Mr Mann was made a day after a report in The Daily Telegraph on December 11, 2012 detailing Mrs Miller’s expenses claims for mortgage interest payments, utilities and council tax.
The article claimed that having her parents live with her had put Mrs Miller at “odds with parliamentary rules”.
It added that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner had ruled that second homes must be used “exclusively” by MPs fulfilling their parliamentary duty.
Mr Mann likened Mrs Miller’s second home claims to the former Labour minister Tony McNulty, who was ordered to pay back more than £13,000 of expenses claimed for a second home occupied by his parents in 2009.
However, there has been nothing to suggest that Mrs Miller will have to pay back her claims.
Mrs Miller has always maintained that her claims are “absolutely in order” and “in complete accordance with the rules.”
In a statement previously sent to The Gazette, she said: “For a considerable time before I entered politics, my parents have lived with me, my husband and our children as part of the family. I have always been open about these arrangements.”
The House of Commons Standards Committee will discuss the content of the report later this month and decide what action to take.
Mrs Miller has so far declined to comment.