63% of the public think that David Cameron showed poor judgement in standing by Maria Miller – he should have sacked her immediately
Culture Secretary Maria Miller resigned yesterday after days of press speculation over her future, which was called into questions when controversy erupted over her expenses. An independent investigator had recommended that she repay £45,000 after miscalutions of expenses, but a committee of MPs lowered that figure to £5,800. The Daily Telegraph also reported that the Culture Secretary tried to 'bully' the paper into not publishing the story by highlighting her press regulation powers.
YouGov's latest research for the Sun shows that an overwhelming majority of the British public (83%), think that she was right to resign, but most people (63%) think that David Cameron was wrong to have stood by her and should have sacked her immediately. Only 19% think that the Prime Minister was right to have defended the Culture Secretary given the circumstances.
Maria Miller's problems centred on expenses claimed prior to 2010, before a new, tightened and independently administered system of expenses for MPs was introduced.
Only a quarter of the public have confidence that the new expenses system will end abuse or at least reduce it substantially. 41% don't have much confidence in the new system, while 28% have no confidence in it at all.
Additionally, only 27% think that on the whole MPs are basically honest about their finances, while 62% say that most MPs tell lies and claim as much as they can get away with. When it comes to their own local MP, however, people are less sure: 27% say their MP is honest about their finances, 25% say they lie and try to claim as much as they can and 48% don't know.