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British minister Miller resigns over expenses row

British lawmaker Maria Miller, who has come under fire after a report last week criticized her for hindering an inquiry into her expenses claims, resigned as Culture Secretary on Wednesday.

"It has become clear to me that the present situation has become a distraction from the vital work this government is doing to turn our country around," Miller wrote in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron's handling of the situation had already led to criticism from some of his own lawmakers after he rejected a growing media clamour to sack Miller, who was ordered to pay back 5,800 pounds she had wrongly claimed and forced to apologise to parliament.

Newspapers had said polls indicated the issue could be damaging for Cameron's Conservatives ahead of next month's European Parliament elections, with surveys already suggesting the party could be beaten into third place by the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP).

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