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Whither David Laws?

Michael Crick | 22:21 UK time, Monday, 9 May 2011

The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee will meet tomorrow morning to consider the Standards Commissioner's report on the former Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary David Laws.

It's taken the commissioner almost a year to produce his report. I'm told that the document is long and complicated, and that the committee may not be able to resolve it tomorrow. "There will be lots of discussion and lots of questions," one source told me.

Laws resigned as a minister last May, after just weeks in office, after it was revealed that, contrary to the rules, he had failed to declare that his landlord - to whom he was paying rent claimed from Commons expenses - was his gay partner.

I understand that the Laws story, and the issues it raises, are a lot more complex than was revealed in the media at the time of his resignation last May.

I have been advised that it may take the committee more than one meeting to decide whether it endorses the commissioner's report, and indeed whether to impose any sanction on Mr Laws.

All of which may leave a question mark over Mr Laws future, and whether David Cameron will be able to bring him back into government anytime soon.


  • Comment number 1.


    David Laws is too petite to suffer any withering.

  • Comment number 2.

    A year? To write a report? Good grief,you could write a book in less time!

    So its "long and complicated" is it? Mmmmmh.......

  • Comment number 3.

    I don't see how it matters what sexual orientation an MP or elected representative has?

    The issue is about expenses, paid for by the tax-payers - that should not be manipulated, nor be abused by ANY public servant, for any reason. If you enter public life as an elected representative - then don't use your concerns about your personal life as a reason for 'potential' or alleged fraud. The majority of the electorate don't care about representatives sexuality - but they do care about fraud at their expense?

  • Comment number 4.

    Something about this sad saga struck me as airing dirty laundry...
    I don't know whether Laws should be sanctioned, but Government Ministers who leak statements to the press should face sanctions. A person's career could be left in tatters before it is even decided that s/he has done anything wrong or against Government regulation. Statements should only come post parliamentary decision.
    What's the goal - get the public all stirred up, sell papers, increase internet "hits", disparage the other party, what?
    It seems to me rather routine for leakage to occur, and personally, I don't like gossip. I like facts, proven-verified facts.
    I thought Labour was bad for leaks, but I think The Coalition Government has got Labour beat.
    If I have seen the correct report, this report concludes: “Information about government policy has for many years found its way into the public domain at times when the house is sitting before it is announced to Parliament.
    I think this is wrong.

  • Comment number 5.

    Now that he been found guilty, I am pleased with the result not being a member of teh Lib Dems. This will teach MPs not to misbehave with expenses, and it was so much money. If they bring him back into government, this is bad news for Labour, and the Tories.

  • Comment number 6.

    this is the guy who said we must all tighten our belts, knuckle down to reduce the debt, let the banks off scot free, and generally do as Dave says when he was up to his ears in corruption, not once, not twice but six times....please leader writers do the political obits now and waste no more time on this cheat....

  • Comment number 7.

    #5 RJWTimes

    I have to agree with you, Mr Times. I have little sympathy for David Laws as he defrauded us out of £40,000, and the explanation he put forward butters few parsnips in the 21st century. Obviously there are people for whom a person's sexuality is of importance (for what reason I fail to see, but it takes all sorts) but in this day and age I cannot understand why Mr Laws felt such embarrassment.

    He is certainly guilty of poor judgement and that makes his suitability for a government post debatable, I would suggest.

  • Comment number 8.

    in any other profession such a person would be barred? if cameron wants him he can make him a lord where he might feel at home?


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