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Paper Monitor

11:16 UK time, Monday, 31 May 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The fall-out from the David Laws resignation still dominates many of the newspapers.

The Daily Telegraph which, in the words of the Guardian, "launched the missile", has defended itself in its editorial.

"At no stage did this newspaper intend to 'out' Mr Laws. On the contrary, we did not plan to mention the sex of his partner in our report. The chances are that this information would have surfaced elsewhere: Mr Laws's sexuality was never quite the tightly guarded secret that he implies"

And Roy Greenslade, writing in his Guardian blog, leaps to the Telegraph's defence. He disagrees with his Guardian colleague Michael White, who had said the story was not in the public interest.

(In the same way that responses from BBC website readers appear to be split, the divisions over this story have also infected the blogosphere, where influential Conservative blogger Iain Dale, using strong language, has attacked comments made by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw on Twitter.)

Philip Hensher, writing in the Independent, says "it is truly bizarre to hear of independently rich, white gay men choosing to live their lives in total secrecy."

"David Laws deserved to lose his job, though everyone must regret the loss of so talented a figure. It was disgraceful to pay his partner in secret. But that debate is over, and the rules will just be applied. The other question that the case brings up is whether a human being can live his life openly in accordance with both his heart and his ambition, respecting his own privacy, not resorting to secrecy. The Parliamentary Commissioner that can rule on that one has not yet been appointed."

Hensher's Independent colleague, Michael Brown, who was outed by the press 16 years ago when Tory chief whip, has some rather blunt advice for Mr Laws:

"Nobody died. Get over it David, the world hasn't ended - and neither has yours... You're a millionaire and everybody still loves you. Tell them all to stop feeling sorry for you - and the sooner you stop feeling sorry for yourself, the sooner you'll recover."

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