Maria Miller (still) MP has today resigned, no not as a MP, but just as the Culture Secretary.
In case you missed it, Miller resigned because of the growing pressure on her after it was revealed she cheated the tax payer out of £45,000 (or £5,800 depending on whether you believe independent parliamentary commissioner or a collection of her fellow MPs).
The Prime Minister responded to her resignation letter saying he was ‘sad’ and that he hoped she would be able to return to cabinet ‘in due course’.
If these expenses on a second home (which all MPs are entitled to) were claimed my Maria Miller as a MP then why oh why has only resigned as the Culture Secretary and not as a MP?
In reality this is not Maria Miller resigning – this is more a shifting of her priorities within The House of Commons and taking a significant pay cut (backbench MPs like Maria Miller still get £67,060 a year).
As commentator Owen Jones noted:
This is why I fully support her fellow Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith’s, call for introducing a right to recall for the electorate. In a Conservative Home blog he argued:
“If events cause a majority of constituents to lose confidence in their MP, they should have the right to remove that MP.”
I would argue that the events have cause Miller’s constituents to lose confidence.
Goldsmith concluded his blog by saying:
“If anything good emerges from the Maria Miller affair, it will be a build-up of pressure on the political establishment to honour its early promise, to trust the people, and to adapt our democracy to the modern age.”
Maria Miller is still a MP because of a deficit of democracy. She is there because her electorate don’t have the power to kick her out.
The ever out of touch Prime Minister seems to think she has a future on the frontbench but I would suggest her constituents might think otherwise.
Until this deficit in our democracy is plugged though, we all need to be calling for MPs like Miller to actually resign, not just for her to take a frontbench sabbatical until the media storm clears.
Ask her to resign:
A great spot over at Labour List – In 2008 Maria Miller called for MPs caught fiddling expenses to face a ‘recall mechanism’…