It has been a terrible week for truth and honesty in British politics. First we had to put-up with the charade that was the Business secretary, Vince Cable, and his Tory co-conspirators explaining how losing the hard-working British taxpayer up to £1.5bn whilst privatising the Royal Mail was in fact a great success.
Then, before we had a chance to catch our collective breath, it was revealed that the Culture secretary Maria Miller had ‘mistakenly’ over claimed on her expenses to the tune of £45,000 (according to the independent standards Commissioner) and that a group of MPs had subsequently overruled the Commissioner and reduced the amount that Miller should repay to just £5,800.
The House of Commons Committee on Standards consists of 13 MPs and 3 lay members. The lay members are NOT entitled to a vote.
The full report of the Committee on Standards can be downloaded as a PDF: Report Into Maria Miller Expenses.
To add insult to ‘thievery’, it transpires that throughout the 14 month inquiry, Miller had engaged in a protracted war with the Commissioner whilst her special adviser Jo Hindley had set about using Miller’s responsibility for overseeing the post-Leveson press regulation to ‘threaten’ the Telegraph with dire consequences in an alleged bid to prevent the story from being published.
David Cameron has repeatedly expressed his support for Miller but there is little doubt that most of the British public expect her to lose her job. Even though possible criminal investigation by the police is on the horizon, Miller is clinging on to her Ministerial post and as we learned from her 32 second apology to the House of Commons she is clearly of the opinion that the matter should be closed.
All of which leaves this blogger asking the question: Is there no honour or common decency left in British politics?
[Authors note: Vimeo 91113464]
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