Maria Miller: I quit to avoid being a 'distraction'


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Indy Politics

Maria Miller has said she takes "full responsibility" for her decision to stand down as Culture Secretary, saying that she did not want to become a "distraction" from the achievements of the Government.

She said she had hoped to carry on in office after she was cleared of the central expenses allegation against her by the Commons Standards Committee but it had become clear it was impossible to do so.

"This has been a really difficult 16 months. Because I was cleared of the central allegation made about me by a Labour Member of Parliament, I hoped that I could stay. But it has become clear to me that it has become an enormous distraction," she said.

"It is not right that I am distracting from the incredible achievements of this Government."

Asked if she had been pressurised into quitting, a clearly emotional Mrs Miller said: "I take full responsibility for my decision to resign. I think it is the right thing to do to remove what has become really an unhelpful and very difficult distraction for colleagues."

Asked also whether she believed she had been the victim of a media witch hunt because of her role in implementing the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry on press standards, she said: "I take full responsibility for the situation. I fully accept the findings of the parliamentary standards report. This is about that."