The culture minister, Maria Miller, tried to limit an investigation into her expenses by warning the parliamentary standards commissioner, Kathryn Hudson, that she was acting outside the law and threatening to refer her to a Commons committee.
In a sign of Miller's attempts to prevent an investigation into her claims for interest payments on her mortgage, she told Hudson that the commissioner would be acting in a way that was "unwarranted, unfair and contrary to all standards of due process and legality".
Miller, who was ordered on Thursday to apologise for her conduct towards Hudson and to repay £5,800, even threatened to refer the watchdog to the "supervisory jurisdiction" of the House of Commons standards committee.
The lengthy and fruitless attempt to limit the investigation emerged in the correspondence between Miller and Hudson over the MP's expenses.
On Thursday Miller was told by the Commons' standards committee, which issues judgments on the watchdog's report, that she would only need to repay £5,800 – a reduction from the £45,000 Hudson recommended that the minister return for over-claimed allowances on her second home in Wimbledon, south-west London.
Who would have thought it?