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Why Maria Miller should not have resigned

10 April 2014

12:39 PM

10 April 2014

12:39 PM

Maria Miller’s forced resignation is a disgrace. No iniquity was proved against her. Over her expenses, I suspect her motive was innocent: she was trying to work out childcare with her parents in a way compatible with the weird rules, rather than plotting larceny. The parliamentary committee probably understood the circumstances fairly. The press anger was confected because of our (justified) dislike of the post-Leveson Royal Charter. We keep complaining that MPs are ‘marking their own homework’, forgetting that this is exactly what we have done ourselves — incredibly indulgently — for all these years, whenever people have complained about our behaviour.

Besides, it is constitutionally wrong for MPs not to mark their own homework. We elect them. If we insist on an unelected body ruling their affairs, we are undermining the authority we have conferred on them. The best system is that MPs should mark their own homework but 100 per cent in public. Then they preserve the power of representative democracy and we can work out what we think of them.

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes in this week’s Spectator.

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