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Kent MP Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said Maria Miller was right to resign

By Paul Francis

A Kent MP says Maria Miller was right to quit her job because the focus on her expenses was becoming a distraction from important issues the government is focusing on.

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, who is a member of the backbench culture, media and sport committee, said: “This has been an unwelcome distraction from other issues that are serious and important.

Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford

"I welcome the Secretary of State’s decision to resign but we should recognise that the affair is a consequence of the old expenses system, not the current one.”

She added that it was frustrating for MPs who were elected in 2010 to be caught up in the saga as new rules mean that many of the loopholes that were uncovered, such as flipping of second homes, had now been closed.

In her resignation statement, Mrs Miller said: “I take full responsibility for my decision to resign. I think it’s the right thing to do.”

The pressure on the culture secretary had become intense over recent days and she was facing calls from Conservative MPs themselves to stand aside.

PM David Cameron said he hoped she would return to cabinet “in due course”.

Mrs Miller was cleared of funding a home for her parents at taxpayers’ expense, but was told to repay £5,800 of the expenses she claimed.

The independent parliamentary commissioner for standards had previously recommended she repay £45,000.

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