1. ITV Report

Maria Miller resigns as Culture Secretary

Maria Miller said the controversy over her expenses had become a 'distraction' from the Government's work Photo: Pool

Maria Miller tendered her resignation as Culture Secretary today, six days after she was ordered to apologise to MPs and pay back £5,800 of overclaimed expenses.

Despite David Cameron's repeated support, the pressure continued to mount on Mrs Miller, with MPs from her own party breaking ranks to criticise her handling of the issue.

In her resignation letter she said she was going because the continuing coverage was becoming "a distraction" from the Government's work.

It is with great regret that I have decided that I should tender my resignation as a member of the Cabinet.

I am very grateful to you for your personal support but 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.

– Extract from Maria Miller's resignation letter

The public were right behind the decision, with 88% of people in an ITV News/ComRes poll said she should have gone when the expenses report was first published.

Labour also seized on the resignation at Prime Minister's Questions, with Ed Miliband accusing Mr Cameron of being "an apologist for unacceptable behaviour".

The PM hit back that the Labour leader was jumping on a "political bandwagon", having failed to call for Mrs Miller's resignation himself.

ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports on a difficult day for David Cameron.

The resignation also meant a small ministerial reshuffle, with new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid becoming the first Asian man to hold cabinet office.

David Cameron also tweeted news of promotions for two female Conservatives, including backbencher Andrea Leadsom's first ministerial role.

There may yet be more reforms of the expenses system in the wake of this latest scandal.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg told ITV News it was up to the three main party leaders to "try and see whether there's more we can do" to reform the system.

For Tory MP Nadine Dorries reform is out of the question - she told Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship expenses were now so "toxic" they should be abolished.

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