"I have made mistakes - I have apologised" says Basingstoke MP Maria Miller

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke MP Maria Miller Basingstoke MP Maria Miller

BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller today admits that she has “made mistakes” – and she is vowing to work hard for her constituents following her decision to quit as Culture Secretary.

It was last Wednesday that 50-year-old Mrs Miller stepped down from her Cabinet post after a week of mounting pressure for her to quit or be sacked by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mrs Miller came under immense pressure to step down following the publication of a report by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Hudson into expenses claims relating to the mother-of-three’s second home in Wimbledon, London.

The Parliamentary Committee on Standards – on which the Conservative Party has the largest single representation – went against the recommendation of the Commissioner in asking Mrs Miller to repay £5,800 that she overclaimed in mortgage interest payments on her second home between 2005 and 2009. Mrs Hudson had recommended that Mrs Miller should repay £45,800.

Mrs Miller – who was cleared by Mrs Hudson of deliberately submitting expenses claims for her own benefit – was also told by the standards committee to apologise in the House of Commons for her attitude to the Commissioner’s inquiries.

Mrs Miller complied by making a 32-second apology that only served to fuel the controversy over whether she should resign, or be axed, from the Cabinet.

Writing in her weekly ‘How I See It’ column on page 2 of tomorrow’s edition of The Extra, Mrs Miller, commenting on why she decided to resign last Wednesday, says: “I took that decision because the situation had become a distraction from the important work of the Government.”

She adds: “Some people are, perhaps, cynical about the motivation of politicians.

“My motivation is simple. As Basingstoke’s MP, I want to make sure our part of North Hampshire has someone in Parliament to help make this a fairer and better place to live.”

After commenting on what she has done as Basingstoke MP since being elected in 2005, Mrs Miller says: “I fully recognise that I have made mistakes.

“I have apologised unreservedly for making those mistakes, and for the deep concern caused.

“Now, by continuing to work hard for the people of Basingstoke and being your voice in Westminster, I hope to put that right.”

Her column in full:

“It won't have escaped many people’s attention that last week I resigned my position as a Government Minister.

“I took that decision because the situation had become a distraction from the important work of this Government.

“I have never fitted the stereotype of a Member of Parliament. I went to a state comprehensive school. I had a 20-year career in business before becoming an MP. I am a working mum with three children and have cared for my elderly, now disabled, parents for many years.

“Some people are, perhaps, cynical about the motivation of politicians. My motivation is simple. As Basingstoke’s MP, I want to make sure our part of north Hampshire has someone in Parliament to help make this a fairer and better place to live.

“Over the past nine years in Parliament, I have had the opportunity to do just that, including fighting to improve local services; campaigning to improve the quality of our environment including the pollution levels in the River Loddon, and supporting Basingstoke business to provide more jobs and helping people who find it hard to navigate their way through local services from flooding, to housing and healthcare.

“As a Government Minister, the Prime Minister asked me to handle difficult Government reforms including Equal Marriage. But, of course, implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson on the future of media regulation, following the phone hacking scandals, would always be controversial for the press.

“Working with the Prime Minister, I believe we struck the right balance between protecting press freedom and ensuring fairness for victims of press intrusion.

“I fully recognise that I have made mistakes. I have apologised unreservedly for making those mistakes and for the deep concern caused.

“Now, by continuing to work hard for the people of Basingstoke and being your voice in Westminster, I will hope to put that right.”

*What do you think of Mrs Miller’s comments? Leave your thoughts using the comments facility below.

Comments (22)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:15pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Marina Morris says...

Don't bust a gut Maria as I doubt you'll be here after the next election.
Don't bust a gut Maria as I doubt you'll be here after the next election. Marina Morris
  • Score: 25

7:02pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Mighty Antar says...

I think she should take a look at the Gazettes poll - "Should Maria Miller resign as Basingstoke's MP?" Its been consistantly registering about 88% in favour of her resigning since the start.
I think she should take a look at the Gazettes poll - "Should Maria Miller resign as Basingstoke's MP?" Its been consistantly registering about 88% in favour of her resigning since the start. Mighty Antar
  • Score: 32

7:25pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Cynical Reader says...

But nobody wants you to be our voice.
You simply follow the Party line whatever.
But nobody wants you to be our voice. You simply follow the Party line whatever. Cynical Reader
  • Score: 24

7:28pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Ladybird24 says...

She really does not get it does she?
Basingstoke does NOT want a dishonest MP and no amount of apologies are going to put things right. It should never have happened in the first place. As far as I am concerned her days are over, and if she doesn't resign, then the next election will speak louder than words!!
She really does not get it does she? Basingstoke does NOT want a dishonest MP and no amount of apologies are going to put things right. It should never have happened in the first place. As far as I am concerned her days are over, and if she doesn't resign, then the next election will speak louder than words!! Ladybird24
  • Score: 31

7:38pm Tue 15 Apr 14

george chivers says...

Pay back the 90K Maria and the people of Basingstoke still won't want you.
Pay back the 90K Maria and the people of Basingstoke still won't want you. george chivers
  • Score: 19

8:17pm Tue 15 Apr 14

deborah.long14@btinternet.com says...

I do not trust or want you as an MP in Basingstoke, you did nothing to help Deeside Residential Care Home from closing. And would not speak to me, until you knew I was at that time the chairperson for the campaign and the fact I published your letter on Facebook, advising me, that you were unable to help as I lived outside your constituency, despite living in Basingstoke all my life and the fact my father who resided in Deeside was in your constituency!!!
You took advantage of your position and got caught it was not a mistake my dear MM
I do not trust or want you as an MP in Basingstoke, you did nothing to help Deeside Residential Care Home from closing. And would not speak to me, until you knew I was at that time the chairperson for the campaign and the fact I published your letter on Facebook, advising me, that you were unable to help as I lived outside your constituency, despite living in Basingstoke all my life and the fact my father who resided in Deeside was in your constituency!!! You took advantage of your position and got caught it was not a mistake my dear MM deborah.long14@btinternet.com
  • Score: 35

10:47pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Dvpain says...

Maria Miller - resign now. If you are still our MP at the next elections, the Conservatives unfortunately will not be getting my vote. Do the people of Basimgstoke a favour and step down.
Maria Miller - resign now. If you are still our MP at the next elections, the Conservatives unfortunately will not be getting my vote. Do the people of Basimgstoke a favour and step down. Dvpain
  • Score: 17

10:54pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Laurence S says...

A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda.

It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.
A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda. It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority. Laurence S
  • Score: -37

12:16am Wed 16 Apr 14

EMW says...

Laurence S wrote:
A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda.

It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.
In your dreams Laurence S!
Rose tinted glasses by any chance?
Time to move on.
Maria who?
[quote][p][bold]Laurence S[/bold] wrote: A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda. It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.[/p][/quote]In your dreams Laurence S! Rose tinted glasses by any chance? Time to move on. Maria who? EMW
  • Score: 22

12:36am Wed 16 Apr 14

democracygone says...

Maria Miller should be forced to resign as MP also- why:
she has knowingly abused MP expenses allowances.
Buys her home (main residence)through mortgage in Wimbledon (home for her, spouse, dependants and parents) prior to becoming an MP in 2005.
Post 2005- rents a home in her Basingstoke MP constituency and then declares Wimbledon home as 'second residence' to qualify for MP expenses allowance and Basingstoke home as main allowance. Increases her mortgage on Wimbledon home (approx. by 100% - therefore Wimbledon home mortgage interest paid from public purse as second residence) Spouse works in London, dependants reside in Wimbledon home along with her parents. Then she switches back to Wimbledon home as main residence to avoid capital gains tax on selling Wimbledon home in Feb 2014 for £1.2 million. Come on - its obvious she played the MP system of switching home locations for fiscal reward. Any 'ordinary' citizen would be dragged through the legal courts for embezzlement of 'expenses'
Maria Miller should be forced to resign as MP also- why: she has knowingly abused MP expenses allowances. Buys her home (main residence)through mortgage in Wimbledon (home for her, spouse, dependants and parents) prior to becoming an MP in 2005. Post 2005- rents a home in her Basingstoke MP constituency and then declares Wimbledon home as 'second residence' to qualify for MP expenses allowance and Basingstoke home as main allowance. Increases her mortgage on Wimbledon home (approx. by 100% - therefore Wimbledon home mortgage interest paid from public purse as second residence) Spouse works in London, dependants reside in Wimbledon home along with her parents. Then she switches back to Wimbledon home as main residence to avoid capital gains tax on selling Wimbledon home in Feb 2014 for £1.2 million. Come on - its obvious she played the MP system of switching home locations for fiscal reward. Any 'ordinary' citizen would be dragged through the legal courts for embezzlement of 'expenses' democracygone
  • Score: 25

1:00am Wed 16 Apr 14

democracygone says...

'I have apologised for making mistakes' maria miller says - arrogance springs to mind - MM deliberately avoids stating what her 'mistakes are' and then offers the excuse that she resigned as culture minister "because the situation had become a distraction from the important work of the Government". MM has abused her publicly accountable position by 'manipulating the public office purse expense rules' for her own benefit and has the gall to emphatically state that she has done nothing wrong!!!!!!!. The whole issue of MP's 'manipulating expenses' has been widely abused over many years and I'm sure is still prevalent among some of those 'right honourable' members of Westminster - she got caught - but her 'fellow' members appear to maintain the status quo by overriding the independent commission conclusions. Hopefully the UK public are waking up to the 'double standards' exercised by 'potentially to many' of our MP's
'I have apologised for making mistakes' maria miller says - arrogance springs to mind - MM deliberately avoids stating what her 'mistakes are' and then offers the excuse that she resigned as culture minister "because the situation had become a distraction from the important work of the Government". MM has abused her publicly accountable position by 'manipulating the public office purse expense rules' for her own benefit and has the gall to emphatically state that she has done nothing wrong!!!!!!!. The whole issue of MP's 'manipulating expenses' has been widely abused over many years and I'm sure is still prevalent among some of those 'right honourable' members of Westminster - she got caught - but her 'fellow' members appear to maintain the status quo by overriding the independent commission conclusions. Hopefully the UK public are waking up to the 'double standards' exercised by 'potentially to many' of our MP's democracygone
  • Score: 18

7:56am Wed 16 Apr 14

Upontheroof says...

You are self serving hypocrite and the only reason you are sorry, is because you were caught.

Do the right thing and resign .....
You are self serving hypocrite and the only reason you are sorry, is because you were caught. Do the right thing and resign ..... Upontheroof
  • Score: 20

8:24am Wed 16 Apr 14

Sensory says...

Maria Miller. One of UKIP's most valuable assets in the south.
Maria Miller. One of UKIP's most valuable assets in the south. Sensory
  • Score: 21

9:38am Wed 16 Apr 14

Ambivalent says...

I can only agree with what the majority here are saying. It feels to me that what is happening now is a desperate attempt at damage limitation and a bit of a public relations exercise, but I don't think it will work.

It all goes back to the fact that she can't see that she has done anything wrong, and neither can most others in her party. This illustrates a really poor judgement and a failure to understand why the public are so angry, and for me that is the crux of it .... they don't understand, and yet it isn't rocket science!

At a time when many people are struggling financially to cope, when people are losing their homes and others are losing all hope of having a home, when people are having their benefits unfairly sanctioned - even people who have worked hard all their lives and are looking in vain for work, largely due to governments poorly thought out policies, to be scrabbling for every penny you can make from the public purse, even if 'legal' is hypocritical, immoral and shows a lack of integrity and respect for the people you are supposed to be serving.

I work in the voluntary sector with disadvantaged and excluded people. I don't earn a fantastic wage. I don't claim full expenses for every work related penny I spend, stamps, car parking, petrol etc. Not because I can't, but when I look at people I work with who have nothing, it feels kind of uncomfortable and immoral to be so penny pinching - especially when I know that the expenses are in the end being paid for by the public.
I think it's called a social conscience.
If Maria Miller can develop a social conscience and show it, then maybe the people of Basingstoke will be more inclined to accept her.

If we want to live in a civilised society that works, we have to think of others, not only ourselves. Because a lot of the people who are struggling are the people who will be looking after us when we are old or ill, who clear away our rubbish, who enable us to eat or buy food. They are just as important as any MP or successful businessman. We need them. We need to treat them with respect, not penalise them or stigmatise them.
I can only agree with what the majority here are saying. It feels to me that what is happening now is a desperate attempt at damage limitation and a bit of a public relations exercise, but I don't think it will work. It all goes back to the fact that she can't see that she has done anything wrong, and neither can most others in her party. This illustrates a really poor judgement and a failure to understand why the public are so angry, and for me that is the crux of it .... they don't understand, and yet it isn't rocket science! At a time when many people are struggling financially to cope, when people are losing their homes and others are losing all hope of having a home, when people are having their benefits unfairly sanctioned - even people who have worked hard all their lives and are looking in vain for work, largely due to governments poorly thought out policies, to be scrabbling for every penny you can make from the public purse, even if 'legal' is hypocritical, immoral and shows a lack of integrity and respect for the people you are supposed to be serving. I work in the voluntary sector with disadvantaged and excluded people. I don't earn a fantastic wage. I don't claim full expenses for every work related penny I spend, stamps, car parking, petrol etc. Not because I can't, but when I look at people I work with who have nothing, it feels kind of uncomfortable and immoral to be so penny pinching - especially when I know that the expenses are in the end being paid for by the public. I think it's called a social conscience. If Maria Miller can develop a social conscience and show it, then maybe the people of Basingstoke will be more inclined to accept her. If we want to live in a civilised society that works, we have to think of others, not only ourselves. Because a lot of the people who are struggling are the people who will be looking after us when we are old or ill, who clear away our rubbish, who enable us to eat or buy food. They are just as important as any MP or successful businessman. We need them. We need to treat them with respect, not penalise them or stigmatise them. Ambivalent
  • Score: 18

10:27am Wed 16 Apr 14

Angry of Basingstoke says...

If everyone who did something criminally wrong were able to apologise and to be completely forgiven our prisons would be empty. Most people who do things wrong are generally opportunists who see a potential for quick, easy or long-term gain and decide go for it, no matter what it is. They know it's wrong but they do it. It is a very clear pathway which has been followed. This is clearly what Maria Miller has done... and it was potentially a lot worst before a committee of self-regulating MPs decided to downgrade the seriousness of the issue; that in my opinion is itself is a very contentious issue in itself. Where is the fairness and honesty in governing yourself? This incident has destroyed a fragile trust which people had built up with the Tory Party and the rest of Parliament and has now erupted into the public consciousness. Maria Miller really should resign and do the decent and honourable thing, not for herself, but for Basingstoke.
If everyone who did something criminally wrong were able to apologise and to be completely forgiven our prisons would be empty. Most people who do things wrong are generally opportunists who see a potential for quick, easy or long-term gain and decide go for it, no matter what it is. They know it's wrong but they do it. It is a very clear pathway which has been followed. This is clearly what Maria Miller has done... and it was potentially a lot worst before a committee of self-regulating MPs decided to downgrade the seriousness of the issue; that in my opinion is itself is a very contentious issue in itself. Where is the fairness and honesty in governing yourself? This incident has destroyed a fragile trust which people had built up with the Tory Party and the rest of Parliament and has now erupted into the public consciousness. Maria Miller really should resign and do the decent and honourable thing, not for herself, but for Basingstoke. Angry of Basingstoke
  • Score: 15

11:06am Wed 16 Apr 14

DanBrad says...

I have lived in Basingstoke this past 31years and has voted conservative all that time, i am disgusted with Mrs Millers actions over her expenses and if she were to stand as our MP at the next election she will not be getting my vote.
I have lived in Basingstoke this past 31years and has voted conservative all that time, i am disgusted with Mrs Millers actions over her expenses and if she were to stand as our MP at the next election she will not be getting my vote. DanBrad
  • Score: 16

11:28am Wed 16 Apr 14

JamesRe says...

Laurence S wrote:
A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda.

It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.
Laurence S.... you can blame the media all you want but it's clear that the people of Basingstoke want her gone! She was dishonest pure and simple. I'm amazed that she avoided the criminal proceedings that some other dishonest MPs got.
I personally want to support the Conservatives at the next elections but if she is our candidate I'll have to vote for another party.
[quote][p][bold]Laurence S[/bold] wrote: A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda. It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.[/p][/quote]Laurence S.... you can blame the media all you want but it's clear that the people of Basingstoke want her gone! She was dishonest pure and simple. I'm amazed that she avoided the criminal proceedings that some other dishonest MPs got. I personally want to support the Conservatives at the next elections but if she is our candidate I'll have to vote for another party. JamesRe
  • Score: 12

12:40pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Sourthern Sun says...

She should be kicked out on her a*se.

She´s been caught fiddling the books. She only has to repay a fraction of the money taken, and then she thinks that she can still represent Basingstoke as an MP.

Does she think Basingstokers are all thieves too, like her? The gall of the woman is unbelievable.
She should be kicked out on her a*se. She´s been caught fiddling the books. She only has to repay a fraction of the money taken, and then she thinks that she can still represent Basingstoke as an MP. Does she think Basingstokers are all thieves too, like her? The gall of the woman is unbelievable. Sourthern Sun
  • Score: 9

1:02pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Whatever next says...

Worked hard for the residents of Basingstoke doing what exactly?
If you have any thought for the residents of Basingstoke you would listen to what the majority (88% of the vote on here) and leave the job to someone who actually wants to live and care about here.
Sorry but WAY TOO LITTLE - WAY TOO LATE.
So why don't you just sell your nice new house in Basingstoke that we all help fund and go get a proper job.

As for the waffle about - coming from a comprehensive school, working hard, look after children and elderly parents - whoopee do, what do you want a medal?
Worked hard for the residents of Basingstoke doing what exactly? If you have any thought for the residents of Basingstoke you would listen to what the majority (88% of the vote on here) and leave the job to someone who actually wants to live and care about here. Sorry but WAY TOO LITTLE - WAY TOO LATE. So why don't you just sell your nice new house in Basingstoke that we all help fund and go get a proper job. As for the waffle about - coming from a comprehensive school, working hard, look after children and elderly parents - whoopee do, what do you want a medal? Whatever next
  • Score: 16

5:32pm Wed 16 Apr 14

curtis57 says...

MM If 88% of the people of Basingstoke want you to resign as their MP then you need to go? you and all the other Tory MP's who are fiddling their expense's and robbing the tax payers blind?. MM you need to remember that you work on behalf of the people of Basingstoke and are therefore answerable to them?
So please do the right thing resign asap as you are not wanted ok.
MM If 88% of the people of Basingstoke want you to resign as their MP then you need to go? you and all the other Tory MP's who are fiddling their expense's and robbing the tax payers blind?. MM you need to remember that you work on behalf of the people of Basingstoke and are therefore answerable to them? So please do the right thing resign asap as you are not wanted ok. curtis57
  • Score: 7

11:15pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Bertie-7 says...

Laurence S wrote:
A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda.

It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.
I agree with Laurence.
[quote][p][bold]Laurence S[/bold] wrote: A fantastic MP who has worked hard for nearly ten years, and has been outrageously hounded by the national press in pursuit of their own agenda. It takes a lot of guts to apologise so fully (most politicians would rather swim through treacle than say sorry). I'm sure she'll be re-elected with a big majority.[/p][/quote]I agree with Laurence. Bertie-7
  • Score: -13

12:47am Sun 20 Apr 14

CineEngineer says...

Too late Miller. You are finished. Take yourself far away and dont come back. Basingstoke does not want you and if Cameron has any shred of sense he wont want you. Bye Bye Miller you expenses fiddling piece of pond life.
Too late Miller. You are finished. Take yourself far away and dont come back. Basingstoke does not want you and if Cameron has any shred of sense he wont want you. Bye Bye Miller you expenses fiddling piece of pond life. CineEngineer
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree