A poll commissioned by Breitbart London and Conservative Grassroots has revealed that a majority of British voters think that Cabinet Minister Maria Miller is the “worst example of MPs’ behaviour since the expenses scandal of 2009” – a damning verdict for the Culture Secretary, the Prime Minister, and indeed the Conservative Party.
A poll of 1000 respondents asked whether voters believed Miller’s actions in claiming £90,000 on expenses, then refusing to pay back the £45,000 recommended by the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, was the worst abuse of the system since the 2009 expenses scandal.
Fifty-five percent of all voters agreed with the statement, with 61 percent of Tory voters saying they felt that this was the case.
The news will come as yet another blow to David Cameron and the Conservative Party, as the Breitbart London/Conservative Grassroots poll by Survation also revealed a potentially significant drop in Tory voters at the next general election as a result of the incident.
The same polling revealed that just 18 percent of those quizzed believe that the Conservative Party is in touch with the average voter.
When asked if Maria Miller represents a political class that needs to leave British politics, 59 percent agreed. Again, 61 percent of 2010 Tory voters agreed, proving that Miller is fostering significant public disenchantment the longer she stays in her post.
Miller had reportedly ‘gone to ground’ this week, cancelling all appointments and interviews, with various Cabinet colleagues standing in for her at her previous engagements. The Conservative Party wheeled out Grant Shapps, Iain Duncan Smith, and Terese Coffey to defend Miller this weekend, but the media storm surrounding her expenses has not yet shown signs of subsiding.
A Conservative source said: “It is quite right that Maria Miller has apologised and re-paid the money. The Prime Minister has given her his full support and she is continuing to do a great job in an important brief.”
The full results are available here.