Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee spoke of worry that Maria Miller’s people warned that she would ‘get her own back’ on the press through the Leveson process.
“It’s the Tory press that’s really gunning for her. There is, I think a subtext here. It’s not just the rudeness of her so called apology – 32 seconds, very grudging – that was an outrage. There’s something else going on here, it’s partially about Leveson that her people may or may not have at some point threatened that she would use the Leveson process to ‘get her own back’ on the press,” she said, discussing the front pages of today’s newspapers.
Isabel Hardman, from the Spectator, added that advisors saying that this – Miller being revealed to have overclaimed over £5,000 of expenses – being connected to talks about press regulation is “not a threat in a violent way, but it’s a threat in a legislative way, which is just as worrying.”
Despite this, she believes that if the newspapers keep suggesting that Miller should be sacked – as, papers suggest, is supported by 80 per cent on ministers – David Cameron is unlikely to make this move. Hardman said that this is because Cameron is a “stubborn chap” and doesn’t like being ‘bullied’ by the press.
Marr described the suggestion from Miller’s people as a ‘crude threat’.
Miller was described as a ‘modern day Robin Hood’ – stealing from the poor to help the rich, as the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Twitter feed was hacked.