Talking to Tory ministers in the last 24 hours, one of the things I’ve been struck by is the level of irritation with Maria Miller’s graceless apology. It is easy to see why this is the case. If Miller had been more contrite in the Commons on Thursday, the story would not be running as strongly today.
Miller could easily have talked about how the old system under which she had been claiming was not fit for purpose and pointed out that it is no longer in operation. She also could have explained in human terms why she had been so slow to cooperate with the inquiry. If she had done those things, she would have helped herself.
But, instead, Miller finds herself a political zombie. It is now nigh-on-impossible to imagine her rising further than Culture Secretary. Paul Goodman is also surely right when he says that Miller’s Cabinet career has, at most, 13 months to run.