Cameron backs Miller on expenses despite probe
By politics.co.uk staff
David Cameron threw his support behind his beleaguered culture secretary today despite a parliamentary probe into her expenses.
Maria Miller is being investigated by the parliamentary commissioner for standards, John Lyon, over the arrangements for her second home. She claimed £90,000 on a house in Wimbledon where her parents lived between 2005 and 2009.
"As far as I can see she has excellent answers to all the questions put to her," the prime minister said.
His comments come amid a growing row over her office's alleged attempts to shut down the story by referring to the ongoing negotiations over the Leveson report.
The Telegraph claimed Cameron's communications chief, Craig Oliver, suggested to journalists the newspaper's investigation into Miller could influence the government's response to the debate on press regulation.
The claim follows an earlier allegation that Miller's special adviser, Joanna Hindley, also made a link between the story and Leveson.
The prime minister's spokesperson said: "To suggest we are linking these things is absurd. They are not linked. Craig Oliver does not accept that he linked the two issues."
Labour suggested the arrangements were similar to the second-home arrangements of former minister Tony McNulty, who had to pay back over £13,000 because his second home was lived in by his parents.
Today the Telegraph published a further story into Miller's expenses arrangements, revealing she rented a home from a Tory donor in private arrangements which were not disclosed to parliament.