Maria Miller’s resignation frees David Cameron from the burden of having to defend her at the final PMQs before recess. It is the press, not Labour, who can claim credit for her scalp.
But Ed Miliband can still ensure that today’s session is one of the most uncomfortable for Cameron in recent history. He can remind the PM of how he haughtily told the press to “draw a line” under the story after Miller’s non-apology (thus guaranteeing that they would do the reverse). He can point out that it was just two days ago that Cameron, defying all evidence to the contrary, insisted that “Maria Miller is in her job and she is doing a good job as Culture Secretary”, showing himself to be bewilderingly out of touch with both voters and his own party. He can deride him for his misjudgement in failing to demand a show of genuine contrition from her (the one thing that might have saved her).
And, as Cameron did in 2009 during the original expenses scandal, he can seize the initiative on reform, demanding an end to the right of MPs to police their own expenses claims through the discredited standards committee and the introduction of a right of recall. The PM will do all he can to “draw a line” under the affair today. Miliband should ensure that he cannot.