LONDON - British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith plans to resign her government post, media reported on Tuesday, a new casualty of the expenses scandal sweeping through parliament.
Smith's reputation suffered after a leaked copy of her parliamentary expenses claim in March showed she had charged taxpayers for the hire of two pornographic movies by her husband.
It is just speculation. We are not commenting any further, a spokesman for the prime minister's office said.
Support for Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party has plunged and voters angry about the expenses scandal are rapidly losing faith in politicians, opinion polls showed on Tuesday.
Brown faces a rout in European and local elections on Thursday and is expected to reshuffle his team in the next few days ahead of a general election due within a year.
Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon became the latest senior politician to agree to pay back money after being accused of claiming allowances on two homes at the same time. He said he would repay 384 pounds ($629).
Finance minister Alistair Darling apologized on Monday and said he would repay 350 pounds after overclaiming expenses.
Britons are furious that many members of parliament have milked the expenses system, claiming from taxpayer funds the cost of everything from dog food to cleaning their swimming pools at a time when many people are struggling through the recession.
An Ipsos MORI poll published in the Sun newspaper put Labour support at just 18 percent, level with Britain's third party, the Liberal Democrats. It showed the gulf between Brown's party and its main rival the Conservatives widening to 22 points.
A second opinion poll in the Independent showed all the major parties losing support as a result of the MPs' expenses scandal. Since it erupted last month, more than a dozen members of parliament -- including a further three Labour members on Tuesday -- have been forced to announce they are stepping down at the next parliamentary election.
Hoon and Darling may be in the firing line in the reshuffle. Some Brown aides say they are urging him to put schools minister Ed Balls, a key Brown ally, into the finance ministry.
But Brown's spokesman said the prime minister backed both ministers. He thinks they are both doing very good jobs, the spokesman said.
Brown has insisted he will not step down despite dismal opinion polls ratings, saying he has a duty to clean up politics before calling the next election.
His spokesman said Brown would set up and chair a new national democratic renewal council which will meet twice a week to discuss ways of reforming the political system.
The ComRes poll for the Independent put support for smaller political parties -- including the Green party, the far-right British National Party and the UK Independence Party -- at 30 percent, up 18 points from a month earlier. Those three parties are not represented in the British parliament.
Labour had 22 percent support in the ComRes poll, versus 30 percent for David Cameron's Conservatives.
A poll published by the BBC showed almost half British voters think most members of parliament are corrupt.
(Additional reporting by Michael Holden and Adrian Croft; editing by Tim Pearce)