Culture Secretary Maria Miller Resigns Over Expenses Scandal
Culture Secretary Maria Miller Resigns Over Expenses ScandalReuters

Britain's Culture Secretary Maria Miller has resigned despite being cleared of an original charge of filing wrongful expenses claims.

In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, she said "it has become clear to me that the present situation has become a distraction from the vital work this government is doing to turn our country around."

Last month, an independent parliamentary commissioner for standards found that she had overclaimed £45,000 worth of expenses.

Although the committee, whose job it was to investigate Miller's expenses, cleared her of funding a home for her parents at taxpayers' expense, it found that she was guilty of breaching its code of conduct with her obstructive attitude to an inquiry into her finances.

The commission said she had provided "incomplete documentation and fragmentary information".

Miller then shocked politicians and the public last week after delivering the briefest possible apology to parliament but said she accepted that an "administrative error" had led to her wrongly claiming £5,800 in mortgage payments, which she agreed to pay back.

Only a few hours earlier, Miller's parliamentary aide criticised coverage of the expenses row and described it as "witch hunt".

Conservative MP Mary Macleod said newspapers were purposely targeting Miller because of her role in press regulation reform.

"I do think this is a witch-hunt by the media who are angry about [the Leveson inquiry on press standards] and equal marriage, and they're taking it out on Maria," said Macleod in a TV interview.