Her resignation letter stated that the expenses row ‘has become a distraction from the vital work the government is doing.’

The Prime Minister said he was sorry to receive Mrs Miller’s resignation, but accepted her decision and hoped she would be able to return to the cabinet in due course.

Not everyone was so sorry to see her go; the investigation into the former culture secretary’s expenses was sparked by a complaint from Labour MP John Mann.

“My reaction is it’s about time too. Maria Miller should have resigned immediately and when she didn’t resign, David Cameron should have showed a bit of leadership and sacked her,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today show.

The independent parliamentary commissioner for standards recommended that Mrs Miller repay £45,000 of the expenses she claimed, however she was only made to pay £5,800.

In the local newspaper for her constituency, Miller wrote: “I am devastated this has happened and that I have let you down. I unreservedly apologise for the way I handled and approached the enquiry.”

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