Basingstoke MP defends record after Daily Telegraph story

Basingstoke Gazette: Mrs Miller's home in Wimbledon Mrs Miller's home in Wimbledon

BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller has hit back at what she says are “misleading and inaccurate statements” after a national newspaper reported she claimed £90,718 in expenses for a second home where her parents live.

On Tuesday, The Daily Telegraph detailed the Culture Secretary’s expenses claims made between 2005 and 2009 for her home in Wimbledon, south London.

The article claimed that having her parents living there had put her “at odds with parliamentary rules”. It said the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner had ruled that second homes must be used “exclusively” by MPs in fulfilling their parliamentary duty, and housing a politician’s parents was “specifically prohibited”.

The story revealed that during the relevant time between 2005 and 2009, Mrs Miller said the Wimbledon property was her second home and she claimed expenses on mortgage interest payments, utilities, and council tax.

In response, the mother-of-three has said her parents lived with her, her husband, and their children before she was elected in 2005, and she added that both need care for medical matters, which is recognised by the current parliamentary rules.

In a statement 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 our family. I have always been open about these arrangements.

“Prior to my election as an MP, my father’s health deteriorated, and shortly after I was elected in 2005, my mother suffered a severe stroke that has left her permanently incapacitated.

“Since 2005, my parents have continued to live as part of our family and I have ensured that they receive the support and care that they need.

“After I was first elected as an MP, I explained my family circumstances to the House of Commons fees office. They advised that I should designate my Basingstoke address as my main home as this is where I spent most time as a backbencher.

“The cost of maintaining each home was more than I claimed in relation to expenses. There was no financial advantage as to which home was designated.”

“The current IPSA rules ensure that MPs with caring responsibilities are recognised within the expenses system, including those with responsibilities for disabled and elderly family members.”

Mrs Miller, who has been at the heart of the debate over Press standards following the publication of the Leveson Report, has criticised The Daily Telegraph for speaking to her elderly father when they knew she was not at home. She said: “My father is ill-equipped to deal with such enquiries, and indeed the editor has apologised.”

Mrs Miller concluded her statement by saying: “It is deeply regrettable that The Telegraph considers that it is right to run this story, despite the fact that I have given them the information as to the true picture.

“My personal circumstances, as a mother with caring responsibilities for elderly and disabled parents, does not fit into the traditional stereotype of an MP.

“Newspapers should be supporting MPs who take their family responsibilities seriously, thereby encouraging more diverse representation in Parliament.”

Hours after the original story emerged, Labour MP John Mann urged John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to investigate the claims. The Bassetlaw MP said Mrs Miller’s arrangement was ''identical'' to that of former Labour minister Tony McNulty, who in 2009 was required to pay back more than £13,000 in expenses claimed on a second home occupied by his parents.

However following her criticism of the broadsheet, a front-page follow-up article today said that Mrs Miller’s special advisor warned Telegraph reporters of her connection with the debate over potential press regulation. The paper said it published the private conversation as a warning “amid widespread concern about the potential dangers of politicians being given a role in overseeing the regulation of the press”.

Mrs Miller made her last claim relating to the London property in April 2009. Since 2011, she has declared it as her main home, which means she cannot claim expenses for it.

Comments (15)

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1:16pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Buster Preciation says...

Incoming!
Incoming! Buster Preciation
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Wed 12 Dec 12

RumpleCheeseStick says...

blah blah whatever, she was useless as a local MP and is just a typical representative of what is ruining this country, rich self serving toffs who's only real agenda is to line their own pockets.
blah blah whatever, she was useless as a local MP and is just a typical representative of what is ruining this country, rich self serving toffs who's only real agenda is to line their own pockets. RumpleCheeseStick
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Upontheroof says...

Love the statement of -

“misleading and inaccurate statements” against her.

A phrase said too many times and too often to her ....
Love the statement of - “misleading and inaccurate statements” against her. A phrase said too many times and too often to her .... Upontheroof
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Opinions_opinions says...

And here is the "incoming". Quote " They advised that I should designate my Basingstoke address as my main home as this is where I spent most time as a backbencher" She never spent most of her time here as a backbencher. I would ask The Gazetter to ask for copies of her appointment diary as I am sure this would prove otherwise. She was making money on taxpayers contributions towards her mortgage. Is she going to donate that to a worthy cause or pay it back to the Fees Office when (and if) she ever sells her long term, primary family home. I doubt her family have ever seen the rented home in Basingstoke she claimed to have spent most of her time at. And what about the question the paper didn't ask ? The £400 odd pounds for saucepans ! Does Maria Miller think that was a good use of our money ? Why does she need £400 saucepans when she can get a decent set for about £50 ? Come on people ..... does she really take us all for being fools ? You will notice there were no questions being asked by The Gazette but a statement delivered to them by her office !! I am sure there are more incidents of abuse that could be found if anyone wanted to go through her expenses for the past 10 years. They can be downloaded online should anyone want to have a stab at it.
And here is the "incoming". Quote " They advised that I should designate my Basingstoke address as my main home as this is where I spent most time as a backbencher" She never spent most of her time here as a backbencher. I would ask The Gazetter to ask for copies of her appointment diary as I am sure this would prove otherwise. She was making money on taxpayers contributions towards her mortgage. Is she going to donate that to a worthy cause or pay it back to the Fees Office when (and if) she ever sells her long term, primary family home. I doubt her family have ever seen the rented home in Basingstoke she claimed to have spent most of her time at. And what about the question the paper didn't ask ? The £400 odd pounds for saucepans ! Does Maria Miller think that was a good use of our money ? Why does she need £400 saucepans when she can get a decent set for about £50 ? Come on people ..... does she really take us all for being fools ? You will notice there were no questions being asked by The Gazette but a statement delivered to them by her office !! I am sure there are more incidents of abuse that could be found if anyone wanted to go through her expenses for the past 10 years. They can be downloaded online should anyone want to have a stab at it. Opinions_opinions
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Opinions_opinions says...

Check this out
http://searchthemone
y.com/profile/432
Check this out http://searchthemone y.com/profile/432 Opinions_opinions
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Wed 12 Dec 12

BugBear says...

Opinions_opinions I fear you are right but we have become so accustomed to our honourable politicians playing with words when in fact every man Jack of us can see through their slightly not quite true statements, backed up as they are by their minders in parliament. As for the Gazette, well no surprise there really. A small town publication probably owned by a large group who follow the party line just like every other out of touch media outlet nowadays that hoodwink and mislead the public and look where that's got us, destruction of our culture, loss of identity, overcrowded, no control over our lives having handed power on a plate to the EU. Too late for any of us to do anything about it, the countries trashed and has been by the very people we put our trust in. Tory, Labour or LibDem I wouldn't trust any of them with my Grandmother, let alone the country and none of them will ever get my vote again. Useless bunch of traitors.
Opinions_opinions I fear you are right but we have become so accustomed to our honourable politicians playing with words when in fact every man Jack of us can see through their slightly not quite true statements, backed up as they are by their minders in parliament. As for the Gazette, well no surprise there really. A small town publication probably owned by a large group who follow the party line just like every other out of touch media outlet nowadays that hoodwink and mislead the public and look where that's got us, destruction of our culture, loss of identity, overcrowded, no control over our lives having handed power on a plate to the EU. Too late for any of us to do anything about it, the countries trashed and has been by the very people we put our trust in. Tory, Labour or LibDem I wouldn't trust any of them with my Grandmother, let alone the country and none of them will ever get my vote again. Useless bunch of traitors. BugBear
  • Score: 0

5:04pm Wed 12 Dec 12

P Heath says...

The housing arrangements have been too close to Party Chairmen she now "rents" party of a Mansion Moundsmere Manor formally owned by local party chairman why does she need to live in a mansion at tax payers expense the "teflon MP" has had the surface scratched more will follow
The housing arrangements have been too close to Party Chairmen she now "rents" party of a Mansion Moundsmere Manor formally owned by local party chairman why does she need to live in a mansion at tax payers expense the "teflon MP" has had the surface scratched more will follow P Heath
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Thu 13 Dec 12

jonone says...

How lucky that MPs can get wodges of free cash to support family through illness etc. Any chance that could be extended to the ordinary public? My dad became ill some years ago and recently passed away, yet my mum certainly never got £90,000+ in financial help from the Government!
How lucky that MPs can get wodges of free cash to support family through illness etc. Any chance that could be extended to the ordinary public? My dad became ill some years ago and recently passed away, yet my mum certainly never got £90,000+ in financial help from the Government! jonone
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Opinions_opinions says...

The good news is that the media are still carrying this story. Apparently the Tory Press advisor called The Telegraph in the hope of convincing them to scrap the story. That in itself has now become another story. I hope someone at The Telegraph is still going through her expenses with a fine tooth comb and more is yet to come. It would also be good if they could prove that Maria Miller has never actually lived here. Oh how I am enjoying this negative attention our wonderful MP is receiving.
The good news is that the media are still carrying this story. Apparently the Tory Press advisor called The Telegraph in the hope of convincing them to scrap the story. That in itself has now become another story. I hope someone at The Telegraph is still going through her expenses with a fine tooth comb and more is yet to come. It would also be good if they could prove that Maria Miller has never actually lived here. Oh how I am enjoying this negative attention our wonderful MP is receiving. Opinions_opinions
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Bill Chapman says...

It is time for this lady to resign - as a mionister and as an MP. How can she hang on? If David Cameron had any courage, he would sack her.
It is time for this lady to resign - as a mionister and as an MP. How can she hang on? If David Cameron had any courage, he would sack her. Bill Chapman
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Opinions_opinions says...

He wont sack her. Look at Jeremy Hunt and how he swerved the bullet over his recent little story. No no .. what will happen is that The Tories will do everything that can to bury the story and depending on how bad it gets, Maria Miller may stand down until the dust has settled before she makes an amazing comeback a few years later when the government (if they are still in power) think that we have all forgotten about her expenses abuse.
He wont sack her. Look at Jeremy Hunt and how he swerved the bullet over his recent little story. No no .. what will happen is that The Tories will do everything that can to bury the story and depending on how bad it gets, Maria Miller may stand down until the dust has settled before she makes an amazing comeback a few years later when the government (if they are still in power) think that we have all forgotten about her expenses abuse. Opinions_opinions
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Theulktimatefarce says...

Interesting. Cameron is anti statutary regulation of the press, and Miller provides just the sort of justification for no statutary regulation. A coincidence?

Bottom line - her party is preaching austerity to us, and does not seem to consider the legality when lambasting the tax arrangements of certain public figures and companies, so why should we listen to her 'it was all legal' excuse?

If morals are good enough for Jimmy Carr, Starbucks, Google et al. they should be good enough for her and she should get her nose out of the trough and resign.
Interesting. Cameron is anti statutary regulation of the press, and Miller provides just the sort of justification for no statutary regulation. A coincidence? Bottom line - her party is preaching austerity to us, and does not seem to consider the legality when lambasting the tax arrangements of certain public figures and companies, so why should we listen to her 'it was all legal' excuse? If morals are good enough for Jimmy Carr, Starbucks, Google et al. they should be good enough for her and she should get her nose out of the trough and resign. Theulktimatefarce
  • Score: 0

9:48am Fri 14 Dec 12

JacquesMeahof says...

More Sleaze.
More Sleaze. JacquesMeahof
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Robert Donnell says...

It is a shame that people here on this site are prepared to judge without knowing the full facts. It is also very sad that the press (not the Gazette) have chosen to intrude into Maria’s family and subject her family to the questioning. Maria is rightly private about her family – she entered politics not her parents or children.
Knowing Maria and her dedication to service and the people of Basingstoke, I am sure that the independent enquiry will resolve all of this and show that she has abided by the rules and been above board at all times.
It is a shame that people here on this site are prepared to judge without knowing the full facts. It is also very sad that the press (not the Gazette) have chosen to intrude into Maria’s family and subject her family to the questioning. Maria is rightly private about her family – she entered politics not her parents or children. Knowing Maria and her dedication to service and the people of Basingstoke, I am sure that the independent enquiry will resolve all of this and show that she has abided by the rules and been above board at all times. Robert Donnell
  • Score: 0

1:58am Sat 15 Dec 12

BugBear says...

Robert Donnell wrote:
It is a shame that people here on this site are prepared to judge without knowing the full facts. It is also very sad that the press (not the Gazette) have chosen to intrude into Maria’s family and subject her family to the questioning. Maria is rightly private about her family – she entered politics not her parents or children.
Knowing Maria and her dedication to service and the people of Basingstoke, I am sure that the independent enquiry will resolve all of this and show that she has abided by the rules and been above board at all times.
Yea just like the independent enquiry into Iraq, the Hillsbough Disaster, David Kelly etc. etc. etc. Same old whitewash pulling the wool over the ordinary man's eyes to keep the same old rotten bunch of self serving corrupt cretins lording it over our lives. Rules who makes the rules, the very people who break them as was so evidently obvious with the last expenses scandal. Roll on the revolution.
[quote][p][bold]Robert Donnell[/bold] wrote: It is a shame that people here on this site are prepared to judge without knowing the full facts. It is also very sad that the press (not the Gazette) have chosen to intrude into Maria’s family and subject her family to the questioning. Maria is rightly private about her family – she entered politics not her parents or children. Knowing Maria and her dedication to service and the people of Basingstoke, I am sure that the independent enquiry will resolve all of this and show that she has abided by the rules and been above board at all times.[/p][/quote]Yea just like the independent enquiry into Iraq, the Hillsbough Disaster, David Kelly etc. etc. etc. Same old whitewash pulling the wool over the ordinary man's eyes to keep the same old rotten bunch of self serving corrupt cretins lording it over our lives. Rules who makes the rules, the very people who break them as was so evidently obvious with the last expenses scandal. Roll on the revolution. BugBear
  • Score: 0

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