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U.K. expenses row claims top minister

AFP-JIJI

The British minister overseeing future regulation of the press, Maria Miller, has quit her Cabinet post following a row over expenses, Downing Street announced Wednesday.

“Maria Miller has resigned as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport,” said a statement from Prime Minister David Cameron’s office.

Miller had faced a week of pressure from her own Conservative Party and the opposition over payments she had claimed linked to a mortgage.

Cameron had given her his backing over the issue, but in her resignation letter to the prime minister, Miller said the matter had now become a “distraction.”

Miller had last week made a terse 31-second apology to parliament for providing limited information to an inquiry into her claims.

An independent inquiry found she should pay back £45,000 ($75,400), but that was cut to £5,800 by a committee of lawmakers.