— The Screaming Eagles (@TSEofPB) February 17, 2014
Over the weekend stories emerged about Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, being criticised by parliamentary standards officials for claiming mortgage repayments and other expenses associated with a large detached property in south London.
In the Mail, it was said “One Tory MP privately admitted that criticism over her expenses could make Mrs Miller’s position in the Cabinet ‘untenable’” this is in part because “the case has drawn comparisons with the case of ex-Labour MP Tony McNulty, who had to repay almost £14,000 in second-home expenses after it emerged he was claiming for a constituency property where his parents lived rent-free.” Tony McNulty eventually resigned as a Minister because of this.
As Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the committee on standards in public life says in the Telegraph,
“My view is that cabinet ministers are in a special category and are expected to show leadership. They have to be whiter than white.”
I agree with him, and given the past resignations for similar expense claims, I’ve backed her as next out of the cabinet. In the world of politics, perceptions sometimes matter more than the facts, the last thing the Conservative Party wants is to be associated with sleaze.
She’s currently 14/1 with Paddy Power as next out of the cabinet.
Interestingly, there’s a piece in the Telegraph by Benedict Brogan that says William Hague at 10/1 might be worth a flutter. (Hat-tip HurstLlama)