Sebastian Payne

Briefing: Maria Miller’s marginal critics

Day five into the Maria Miller debacle and the calls for her resignation keep on coming. As Isabel reported earlier, more MPs are starting to break cover. Many of the critical Tories are speaking to the press anonymously, but some have been more vocal, especially the younger MPs who sit in marginal seats – who are more conscious of the slings and arrows of outraged voters. Here’s a breakdown of some MPs who have criticised Miller publicly and what their motivations might be:

Esther McVey

‘I can honestly say it wouldn’t be how I would have made an apology’

The Employment Minister is widely tipped for promotion in the near future. She’s one of the few Tories in a northern seat which brings with it a 2k majority and will undoubtedly face a challenge from Labour at the next election. No doubt she will be hoping she can make it to ministerial level before then.

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Zac Goldsmith

’I am surprised Maria Miller hasn’t stepped down’

Goldsmith is one the more independently-minded Tory MPs. He’s vehemently fought for the power for the public to recall MPs but his efforts have yet to be rewarded. Miller is another example for his campaign. There are mutterings he will stand down in 2015, possibly to make way for Boris Johnson. The Lib Dems will certainly try to take back the seat they previously held since 1997.

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Nicola Blackwood

‘I have to say if I was faced with the kind of questions that she is faced with, I would be really quite worried indeed’

Blackwood has the 11th most marginal seas in the country, with a slender 176 majority. She surprisingly took Oxford West and Abingdon from the Liberal Democrats in 2010, who held it since 1997. Although Blackwood doesn’t hold a ministerial position, she serves on the Home Affairs Select Committee and was described by the Guardian today as a ‘senior Tory’

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