DCMS Twitter Account Hacked With Taunting Messages To Maria Miller Over Expenses Scandal

Humiliating messages taunting Maria Miller for her rogue expense claims were posted on her Department's official Twitter account, saying the Conservative minister "robs the poor to help the risk".

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport appeared to gain back control of the account within minutes of the three tweets being posted, but not before several screen grabs were taken.

The first message said: "Seriously though guys which one of us hasn't embezzled and cheated the taxpayer?? #FreeMariaMiller".

It was followed a few seconds later with the message: "@MariaMiller is like modern day Robin Hood, she robs the poor to help the rich".

"Is Maria @Maria_MillerMP guilty? We will let the public decide" the final message said.

It began with such a simple tweet about broadband... and then

A spokeswoman from the DCMS confirmed the account had been hacked but said they had "absolutely no idea" who was responsible.

She said they will be investigating.

Pressure on the Culture Secretary has stepped up over the weekend by the release of a recording of a phone call between her special adviser and a reporter investigating her expenses claims.

The tape revealed that Jo Hindley "flagged up" the fact that Miller would be discussing the Leveson report on media standards with the paper's then editor Tony Gallagher - something Gallagher said he regarded as a threat.

Meanwhile, the former chairman of Westminster's independent sleaze watchdog, the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said Miller's failure to co-operate fully with the parliamentary standards commissioner's inquiry was "pretty shocking".

Letters released yesterday showed that the Culture Secretary told commissioner Kathryn Hudson that a decision to uphold the complaint against her would be "irrational, perverse and unreasonable... a decision that no reasonable decision-maker could properly reach" and warned that she could go over her head to the committee of MPs which has the final say on standards issues.

Hudson eventually recommended that Miller should repay £45,000 in expenses for a house which she shared with her parents, but the cross-party Commons Standards Committee overruled the commissioner and decided she only needed to hand back £5,800.

The committee did criticise Miller for failing to co-operate with the inquiry, and she was forced to make a humiliating apology to the House of Commons.

David Cameron has made clear that he supports the Culture Secretary - though he did not name her in a list of Cabinet ministers singled out for praise in a speech to the Conservative Spring Forum.

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps said it was time to "draw a line" under the controversy over Miller's expenses, as Labour called on Cameron to show "leadership" over the affair.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg declined to come to Cameron's aid over the Miller affair, telling Sky News: "All the issues to do with her position and indeed to do with the behaviour of her office, alleged or not, is entirely a matter for the Prime Minister.

"It's quite right for me to leave the Prime Minister to make those decisions, and indeed to speak for himself."