MP for Bassetlaw John Mann is calling on the Standards and Privileges Committee to publish the minutes, tape recordings and all unpublished documents from the meetings it held to discuss the complaint he made about Maria Miller’s expenses.
The self-regulating body of MPs has for the first time over-ruled the verdict reached by the Independent Commissioner, and John Mann believes that the way in which the committee has reached its verdict must be made public.
The Bassetlaw MP said: “A self-regulating group of MPs has ignored and overruled down the conclusions made by the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.”
“The Committee on Standards is flawed. It has no clear ground rules, no due process, and no transparency.”
“This leads to conflicting and contradictory decisions, as we have seen in the case of Maria Miller.”
“Their watered-down decision gives the impression that some on the Committee are acting in line with partisan politics as opposed to independent and transparent committee.”
“The only way that the public will be certain that the decision in the case of Maria Miller was fair is if they can see the full decision making process.”
“I am therefore calling on the Committee to release all transcripts and tape recordings of their meetings, as well as minutes of their other meetings to see how consistent the decision making process is.”
“If there is to be self-regulation, it has to be fully transparent. Its ground rules must be clear and decisions must be consistent,” he added.
Maria Miller, currently the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, allegedly claimed more than £90,000 over four years for a second home where her parents lived in south London, rather than claiming for rented accommodation in her Basingstoke constituency. She was reported to the Committee on Standards by a formal complaint in December 2012 made by Mr Mann.
Mrs Miller apologised to MPs for her attitude towards an inquiry into her expenses and was ordered to repay £5,800.