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Report into Basingstoke MP Maria Miller to be published today
BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller may be ordered to pay back £5,000 and apologise when an investigation into her expenses is published today.
The report, which is set to be published at 11am by the Commons standard committee, will detail the findings of the investigation launched in December 2012 by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards into Mrs Miller’s claims of £90,718 for her second home in Wimbledon during 2005 and 2009, where her parents also lived.
There have been reports in the national press that the Culture Secretary will have to repay up to £5,000 in excess claims and there is speculation that Mrs Miller may be criticised for an initial failure to cooperate with the inquiry and ordered to apologise to the Commons.
Mrs Miller had visited Stroud MP Neil Carmichael last week to see the introduction of high-speed broadband in the area.
Last week, it was reported that Mrs Miller and her husband made a profit of more than £1million on the property, which was sold in February. Despite the controversy, the MP is expected to keep her position as Culture Secretary in Prime Minister, David Cameron’s cabinet.
The investigation into Mrs Miller’s claims was launched after a complaint was made by Labour MP John Mann, a day after a newspaper report in The Daily Telegraph, detailed Mrs Miller’s expenses claims for mortgage interest payments, utilities and council tax.
That article claimed that having her parents live with her had put Mrs Miller at “odds with parliamentary rules” and 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.
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 this week 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.”
To read the final report, visit the Gazette website.
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