Why are we supposed to feel sorry for David Laws? David and his partner made a £193,000 profit on a house whose mortgage was being subsidised by £40,000 of public money they had no right to claim. Some would call this stealing, I do. To pretend that this is really an issue of homophobia – wanting to keep the relationship secret, being a very private person etc – is a complete smokescreen. If David wanted to keep his gay relationship secret then keep it secret. The real political issue here is that an elected representative and Government minister has committed fraud on the taxpayer.
This would be such a shame! If you look at the original torygraph article, it said, his secret lover and then said about his money! Not his money first! So clearly they were more interested in outing him!
As for the money, he paid rent, whats the problem? If he didn’t rent it from his lover he would have ended paying a hell of a lot more! So he saved tax payers money! If he wanted to play the system for cash he could have got up to 3 times more money if he declared the relationship.
I think he really could have made a big big difference to the disgraceful deficit that LABOUR has left, he has already helped take £6bn away from him, just seems the torygraph is still really opposed to the coalition
The Daily Telegraph must be feeling very pleased with themselves. having smashed a LibDem, now possibly an MP and gay man to boot. I bet they have got the champagne on ice already.
Mr. Laws needs time to recover from this depression.
The department for work and pensions send single mothers to jail for living with a partner under similar circumstances and claiming housing, council tax and social security benefits.
What makes Mr Laws so different to them!
I think Laws has got off lightly, in any other job he would be reported to the police for fraud. Is it me or does Laws sound like a spoilt school boy wanting to take his ball home, because he is not allowed to cheat anymore.
Anyone would think Laws and his partner are the only gay men in the country the way he is carrying on. My deepest simplify to his partner, who has endured Laws and his closet for so long.
Dax, the problem is that he paid rent to his partner which is a blatant breach of the rules. He did that in order to continue to hide the fact that the man he was living with wasn’t just his landlord. I have no doubt that the Torygraph is very pleased with itself but if Laws hadn’t been stupid then they wouldn’t have been able to bring him down.
I’d agree with JP@4 – it at least suggests a measure of compassion. For myself, I’m rather sceptical of the howls of self-righteous indignation unleashed every time that we discover that one of our MPs is human, and therefore fallible. We stand in danger of excoriating any one who goes into public life for the sin of having made a mistake, and in doing so depriving ourselves of the potential benefits of their skills and talents. David Laws’s skills are a loss, and in difficult times. I’d trust him with decisions about unavoidable spending cuts sooner then George Osborne.
Of course some MPs were outrageous in their manipulation of the expenses system, and it is right that they should be exposed. But the system was their, and few MPs didn’t work it to their advantage. That’s what people do with systems, and it was the system that was at fault. And ultimately that’s the electorate’s fault, because we’re scared to have a sensible discussion about what our elected MPs are entitled to in renumeration for their efforts. For what it’s worth I think we should pay MPs a reasonable standard allowance to cover the legitimate costs entailsed in their work, and let them get on with it. If they want to live in a belgravia mansion, then they can pay for it, and if they want to sleep on a friends floor, then so be it.
I can’t think that David Laws is a thief. If he hadn’t lived with his boyfriend then he would have paid rent or a mortgage somewhere else – probably at higher cost. We all might wish he’d found the resolve to come out in 2006 when the rules changed, but this is a man who came into politics when Mrs T was in power, and when attitudes to homosexuality in public life were very very different. Being secretive was a habit for many gay people, and sometimes those habits are hard to break. I’m perturbed when I read some of the vitriol in the other threads on this subject, and wonder if those so eager to condemn him would all have done better in a similar position.
David Laws did a wrong thing, there’s no arguing about that. It was probabaly untenable for him to remain in his position, given the current febrile state of public and media opinion. But his crime was weakness, not wickedness. I’m sure his regret and shame are, at this moment acute and genuine.
His first steps are to make peace with his family, and find out whether he still has the trust of his constituents. If he can do that, then I think he’s entitled to continue in as an MP. And if he’s fit to be an MP, then he’s fit to be a minister.
It would be a big mistake for David Laws to leave Parliament. He is basically a good politican who made a mistake. He should give himself time to treat his depression, dust himself down and move forward. Hopefully he will be back in some cabinet position before long.
It does seem he paying far too high a price for his transgression. Whatever he did right or wrong, it sickens me to see just how quickly the Tory-graph and general public are calling for his stoning.
Look David, we’d love you to stay as Yeovil MP but stand up and be a man. No more sob stories about awful it is being gay and having to keep your partner secret. I’m sure you’re old mum and dad won’t care and old granny laws won’t drop dead of shame. No more spin please!. Make us proud of you again, stand tall, say you are gay and proud of it. By the way don’t forget to pay back all that money first and own up to any conflict of interests you might have had with or if you promoted any deals with Edelmans. Also tell your other mates at the lib dems that honesty is the best policy and they might as well come out now under their own steam and not be horribly outed like yourself.
For myself, I’m rather sceptical of the howls of self-righteous indignation unleashed every time that we discover that one of our MPs is human, and therefore fallible.
My grandfather’s words on the expenses scandal: “if they’d given me the chance, I’d have probably done that, too”. ;)
It’s definitely wrong, but it’s all so very human. Some cheats are cheats. Others just sleepwalked right through the whole thing, not really realising how wrong what they were doing was. I see Laws as being in that second category.
First I’ll say that imho the press should not be outing people as LGBT unless there really is a very good reason for them to do so.
I have sympathy for David Laws in that he was outed as gay against his will.
However David Laws is a very calculating individual, who has stood out in his condemnation (pun) of other MPs who have had expenses issues.
So, let us now look at what this articles says:
He added he would not stay on as an MP if his constituents rejected him.
Aha! So in fact he is just saying that he’ll go if his constituents want him to go.
Of course they will not want him to go, he knows that very well indeed. Although the Telegraph brought him down David Laws does have the support of the very much larger Rupert Murdoch media who are spinning this “talented man who made a mistake” story in every one of their papers.
Don’t think about it just do it – resign – steal this amount in benefits and you’ll go to jail ………..
On the expenses issue David Laws is in exactly the same boat as the vast majority of other politicians who were involved.
The only difference with David Laws is that the Murdoch press has adopted this “talented man who made a mistake” story, and of course Squidgy laps up the Murdoch press line unquestioningly.
David Laws himself stood out as an individual who made great capital attacking other MPs with expenses issues.
David Laws stood for parliament with a set of policies which he reversed 100% while getting into parliament.
While in Parliament David Laws did not show any particular “talent” he had only a very short time to do so if he had any. What David Laws did do was completely fulfil all Conservative party requirements and that is why he has got this support from the Murdoch press of course.
The only problem David Laws had was that the Telegraph did not like him because he was a Lib Dem, even though he had converted so thoroughly to the Tories most aggressive policies.
Whilst I don’t think LGBT people should be outed by the press unless there is very good reason indeed, David Laws in many other areas of his life has been a hypocrite and frankly, a very nasty piece of work.
Agreeing with Patrick James. Some of the comments in his support seem to be overlooking what is essentially a fraud that put he and his partner £40,000 up at the expense of the taxpayer, all because he’s gay and was outed unceremoniously. The idea that there wasn’t a good reason to out him is ridiculous.
“Oh but he’s only human” comments are equally ridiculous. I’m human too, but I don’t steal. I know many people that don’t steal. There are many people in parliament that didn’t abuse their privileged situation. He did. He was in the wrong. He doesn’t deserve my sympathy.
Sorry, but I have zero sympathy with his percieved gay “get out clause.”
How did he become a cabinet minister without undergoing all of the stringent security checks required.
SC, DV, SCE NPIA, CTC etc
Being the same age as this man, and in a much less important job I had to prove every detail of my life when undergoing these checks including detailing my male partner of 8 years, his previous employment and all of his families details.
So did he also lie to the security services or are senior MP’s not subject to the intrusive nonsence that they legislate for the rest of us?
Despite all that which is much more serious, he still took money that was not his.
He hasn’t stolen, as far as I’m aware. There is no suggestion, even in the Telegraph, that his case be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. Presumably security checks are done, but nothng has shown up because he hasn’t hitherto committed a crime.
As an MP he was entitled to claim expenses for a second home. If he’d claimed rent for an appartment on his own that would have been fine. Renting from a friend – ditto. Joint mortgage with his boyfriend – also fine. He just went about it the wrong way, and the reasons that he’s given are the reasons that he’s given. While they don’t excuse his error of judgment, they do at least invite understanding. The parliamentary standards commissioner will have the opportunity to decide if they are persuasive in due course.
I wonder, Patrick, Dave and others, if you have ever made a mistake, or done something you regret, or feel shame for. And if you had to own up to your mistake, what response you hoped for? Not, I imagine, to escape the consequences of your actions. But just a little compassion, perhaps?
If you dont want to be accused, dont cause things that can lead to accusation. Call this witch-hunt or Torygraph or Telegraph, Laws himself handed the ‘enemy’ the weapon to fight him, and fight him they do. In this case, even Laws accept that he is the on the wrong.
And talking of privacy which I am in full support he has the absolute right to; he sounds a fool keeping a relationship secret and yet bringing the name to book through living arrangement… how so foolish he considered the whole country? But someone has spotted it. I hope he learnt a lesson. My suspicion is how much more ‘private’ relationship may be out there on his tag?
As for all this jibberish, he is just buying into people’s emotion telling us how bad he feels and that he wants to step down; that may be to his credit instead of pre-pleading to be stopped. He is a man who knows and makes the laws… same laws that has sent some poorest people to jail or earned them stern caution for claiming benefit while living with a partner, etc. So why should he be different. My worst agony is that his party leader used the same housing issue and flipping and all that to accuse “both old parties” in 2 TV debates before the election claiming in the second debate that Liberal Democrats MPs didnt and also buying into voters emotion to come out as ‘the best’ and popular… now here we go?
Homosexuality, his private life & his former intergrity are all side stories in this case. The main story here is that a man defrauded the taxpayer in a position the taxpayers HANDED HIM IN TRUST; it amounts to BETRAYAL.
I doubt anyone prays for his or any MPs downfall, so in these cases, he and the rest of his colleagues should be grateful for not bearing the full consequencies of their shameful and dishonourable behaviours.
I agree with James, gay,straight,bi whatever,,,,he broke the rules, and as an intelligent man didn’t he think it would eventually come out,,,,,,,how can these types of people be surprised when they DO WRONG!.
I have absolutely no sympathy for the him. Ordinary folk go to JAIL for this type of FRAUD !
He’s just made himself look a right proper charlie,,,another guilty by association for the gay majority to endure for the ignorant homophobic masses,,,,the daily mail readers ;-)))))
Chameleon, no. The mistakes I make generally come out worse for everyone. Its pretty clear for everyone to see that its a genuine mistake. His “mistake” put him up £40,000. That’s not a mistake. He might regret it now, but he didn’t do it accidentally.
“My problems have been caused by my unwillingness to be open about my sexuality and not by any intention to exploit the MPs’ expenses system. James Lundie and I were aware that we could have been far better off financially if I had been willing to be open about our relationship – but I was not.” —David Laws
What exactly is not clear about that?
David Laws announces his resignation:
Glad most people on this comments page consider Laws a thief. What annoys me is that he is a multimillionaire and he still wants more, when does greed stop with these people. This greedy, privileged individual doesn’t deserve to hold his parliamentary seat, he should resign from Parliament and go back to banking to get more money, because that seems to be his main goal in life. He just took a wrong career turn for awhile.