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National newspaper reports that Basingstoke MP will have to apologise for claims on Wimbledon second home
BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller will have to repay thousands of pounds and apologise over expenses claims, it is reported.
An investigation was launched in December 2012 by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, into Mrs Miller's claims of £90,718 for her second home in Wimbledon, where her parents also lived.
The Daily Telegraph has today reported that the Culture Secretary will have to repay up to £5,000 and will be censured for her claims when the inquiry concludes.
The paper reports that the Parliamentary Commissioner has concluded that the arrangement did not lead to Mrs Miller benefitting financially.
However, it also reports that the Commissioner is unlikely to have been aware that Mrs Miller has made a profit of more than £1million on the property which is at the centre of the investigation into expenses claims she made between 2005 and 2009.
The house, which was bought for £234,000 in 1995, was sold on Valentine’s Day this year for £1.47million, the Telegraph said.
The investigation into Mrs Miller's claims was launched after a complaint was made by Labour MP John Mann, a day after a newpaper report detailing Mrs Miller’s expenses claims for mortgage interest payments, utilities and council tax.
The article, which was published by The Daily Telegraph, 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 those of 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.
A final report is expected to be published before the Easter break on April 10.
A statement on the committee's website said no further announcement on the matter was expected before Wednesday, April 2 "at the earliest".
The Standards Committee can recommend that an MP is suspended for serious breaches, as well as a repayment of money, an apology or a personal statement.
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.”
A spokesman for Mrs Miller told The Gazette: “Maria has co-operated fully with the inquiry, asked for by the Labour party, which has now been going on for a year and a half amidst constant unfounded speculation. We hope it will conclude soon.”
He added: “It is not surprising that London houses go up in value well over a decade after they are first bought. It is also not unusual for people to move house.”
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