'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday 4 April 2014

A few more thoughts on Maria Miller...

In addition to my comments the other day....

"Miller therefore survives to fight another day. But the row has fatally undermined any authority she had left with the press, who are insisting she is not fit to preside over the delicate talks concerning press regulation. The rumour is that she will be quietly reshuffled into the Wales Office at the nearest opportunity."

But is strikes me that if she is now in a position where she can't do the job she has been asked to do  - doesn't that make her position as Sec of State at DCMS untenable immediately?

2. David Cameron suggested that the casting vote from the Standards Committee had been given, not by MPS, but by the lay members of the committee. We now know this was untrue, and No 10. have confirmed this was the case.

'A spokesman for Mr Cameron later said his comments were a "slip of the tongue" and that "lay members do not have a vote".'

But if the PM made his decision - that Miller could stay in post - on the basis that lay members had the casting vote, and the basis for that decision was wrong - isn't he duty bound to reconsider things?

I also feel sorry for the lay members of the committee who will now be under enormous scrutiny themselves.

3. Given the Standards Committee have taken the decision to water down the recommendations of the commissioner who investigated the issue, shouldn't either they resign (if the commissioner is right) or the commissioner resign (if she got it badly wrong). Someone has to have made the wrong call here - one or other needs to put their hands up. 

I suppose we have to wonder - who is policing the 'police' here?


This is apparently the answer to point 3 (according to he Guardian, quoting the chair of the Standards Committee and the commissioner, who put out a joint statement)

They said: "It should be noted that after the commissioner [Hudson] had concluded her inquiry the committee was able to secure further information from Mrs Miller on which to base its conclusions. The committee required Mrs Miller to give more information about her mortgage claims, and as a result it was revealed that Mrs Miller's mortgage had increased by over £150,000 after her election, not the £50,000 that the commissioner had discovered. The committee's calculations as to whether Mrs Miller's claims were justified were all based on this higher figure."

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