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Lib Dem MP David Laws explains why he hid his sexuality

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  1. I came out in 1981 in a rough part of London and dealt with it

    1. Yes but James!, perhaps you had a more supportive family or, alternatively, didn’t care what your family thought, and maybe you didn’t plan to go into the City – not the most comfortable environment for gay men even now – or politics. I agree it’s a shame he didn’t have more courage and self-respect, but a lot depends on circumstance.

      1. Rehan

        Being true to myself was more important than anything. And I wouldn’t work aroud people who hate me selling sh1t like 3rd world debt keeping the poorest poor so big banks can make billions. If you’re nasty enough to do that then you get what you deserve ie no sympathy from me.

        1. Staircase2 18 May 2011, 4:02pm

          …very few people do it would appear…..
          (youre a bit of an uptight arse really arent you…)

          1. Yes I am and its better that being a slack assed bitch. does it dribble when you sneeze?

          2. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 4:36pm

            That damn queasy feeling again…

    2. I don’t care if he was on the down low or not, his life/his backbone or lack of. I’m more concerned bout him fiddling public funds and now his pr team seem to want the focus switched to his being oppressed by his sexuality, possible deflection from the real issue at hand. And this “poor me ” cause he has to sell his home n get a smaller property to pay back family loan , what the hell? what an insult to those who don’t have wealthy families to get loans off, instead lose their mortgage n their home. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him? what a jerk.

      1. Agreed poor little rich boy has to downsize. The cuts he was willing to make will leave people to die alone.

    3. From what I understand is that he kept it quiet so as not to jeopardize his dream career, though when he quit and moved on he carried on keeping it quiet because it seemed to be the thing to do. So he’d dug himself a hole and didn’t see the way out.

    4. Staircase2 18 May 2011, 4:00pm

      Things that make yer go, ‘hmmmmmm’

      the old ‘I did it and anyone else that didnt do it is stupid/evil/wrong wrong wrong’
      How about PRE 1981 then? were you ‘wrong’ then? or is that different?

      1. You seem to be overlooking the fact that he claimed less that he would have been able to claim if he had declared the relationship and his London some as a second property

        1. Yes but if they acknowledged that they wouldn’t revel in their daily mail-esque sense of faux-indignation

    5. @James!

      Congratulations for coming out in 1981 in a rough part of London and dealing with it … I applaud you … You made a choice that you believed was right for you …

      Laws made a choice that based on his personal life experience and issues he felt was right for him … I can not criticise him for that choice, I can criticise him for breaking the rules – but not his choice to want to maintain the privacy of his relationship

  2. Typo in the synopsis: ban example.

  3. I must say I aint a big fan of the Lib Dems but I can’t hold this against him. It’s harder for some people to come out than others.

    1. Well said Hamish

      Some people may also appear to have easier experiences (perceptually) than others but find it more difficult to come out due to their own understanding of the issues and how they dealt with the issues, or things that happened in private …

  4. I’m about the same age as this guy and wasn’t aware of the decriminalisation of homosexuality when I was born ,by the time I did I was pretty old and things had moved on. I undertand the 70s and 80s fear but we are now in 2011 , there was plenty of time to come out to the public and it seems that there were rumours anyway. I guess I’ve got to believe his fear of not wanting to come out but it’s really hard to, especially considering he is an inteligent lib dem mp. I’d more understand if he said it was out of fear that he may not get on in politics in the lib dem party if he was gay , they do seem to get caught out now and again and there are surprisingly few gay lib dem mps???. At least he has apologised for setting a bad example to LGBT people …too right there!

    1. He’s just another closet case John…. I am the same age too and agree with your comments wholeheartedly…… actually I was shocked to read that he is only 46 he looks more like 56 and sounds like somebody from the victorian times regarding his comments about keeping things ‘under wraps’………………

      1. He’s “just another closet case …” …

        Tad judgemental?

        People are entitled to judge if and when they disclose their orientation

        Agreed, it is much easier in societal terms than it has ever been in the UK – but that does not mean that it is easy in every single case – I found it incredulously difficult for some time due to the impact I perceived it would have on others … I must admit being totally open about my orientation now is fantastic, but no one could have convinced me of that before I was forced out …. and the being forced out was a horrific experience and that makes me empathize entirely with Laws feelings about disclosing his orientation – ultimately it is none of our business who he sleeps with and nor should it be, whether we are a colleague, constituent, the media or a gay acitivist – its none of our business – but he should be able to be comfortable in being himself and being open if he chooses to be so ….

        That said, the rule breaking was both unwise and wrong .

  5. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 11:52am

    I would like to see him return to the cabinet because I actually think out of this can come some positive.
    He may well have let down young people by his actions but with regards his coming to terms with his sexuality a lot of people also struggling may see him and relate to what he has been through.
    The fact that his coming out hasn’t been as negative itself (it was his expenses that was) did show that his sexuality even publically wasn’t an issue.
    If the many others out there can relate this whole thing could help a fair few people in coming to terms with themselves.
    We have to remember that we are all different. For some it may have been easy for others very difficult, that doesn’t change even in public life.

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 11:52am

      ….
      He also has the chance to show those others who may be in politics that ‘coming out’ isn’t something to be ashamed of and isn’t seen in as negative way that it once used to be.
      If anything the public reaction shows that his fears were pointless, that being Gay is no longer an issue.

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:27pm

        But then, Jock S Trap, you are a Tory by inclination and want a hawk back at the ‘cutting’ edge

        1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 8:06am

          Am I?
          I’ve only ever voted Tory once in a General Election and that was last year.
          I am not loyal to Any party.
          They have to earn their vote as far as I’m concerned.
          Having said that I am happier with the coalition and if the Election was tomorrow I probably would vote the same.
          Again though, having said that I don’t really see how I voted is relevent to my comment.
          I guess if you see something positive coming out of a bad situation, possibly helping others who are having problems ‘coming out’ as ‘cutting edge’, well want can I say?
          I prefer to see some good coming out of this I guess.

          1. Although I disagree with your opinion on the coalition I agree how you vote has nothing to do with your previous comment

          2. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 12:08pm

            Thank you Hamish.
            :)

    2. I wholeheartedly agree with your comment that he has a lot to offer government both in terms of his instinct and ability and in terms of learning from these events

  6. It’s easy to condemn other people for staying in the closet – especially public figures who we feel should be setting an example. I suppose that if even a Liberal Democrat MP is not comfortable with being open about his sexual orientation it demonstrates how far we still have to go before we’re considered equals.

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 12:18pm

      Correct.
      I agree.
      Really the only people to blame for this is those who make people feel bad about themselves.
      And that Usually means because of some kind of Religion.

    2. Paddyswurds 18 May 2011, 3:03pm

      ….and the more cowards like him stay in the closet the harder it will be for young gay men to come out. No wonder the general populace see being gay as something shameful when gay people themselves see it as such. One could even say it’s homophobic to stay in the closet especially when it’s accepted when politicians come out and it doesn’t harm their career.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 3:22pm

        So your blaming the LGBT community for how society treats us?
        Blame religion for this not Gay people.
        It is down to them that we have to listen to the heaps of discrimination we do.
        So some of us have stood up and fought against that but we’re not all the same.
        If you can’t understand that some fear that level of abuse that actually a lot of people get, you should be ashamed.
        I certainly can understand that some who want to hid from that but come out when they feel they want to or when they feel safe to.
        Just because I fought the cesspit of religion at 15 to come out to a temporary backlash. It wasn’t easy.
        How many of us have heard, we’re going to hell? we’re an abomination? should have been put down? we’re sub-human?
        Does it really surprise you that some chose not to come out?
        It wouldn’t do for us all to be the same.

      2. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 3:24pm

        Having said that thankfully the public is more on our side and our Right to be ourselves but that doesn’t mean everyone can suddenly feel they can open up all in one go.
        With some it’ll take time with other they may never feel they can.
        Don’t blame the LGBT community for that though, we’re not the ones who have done the abusing to make us feel this way in the first place..

      3. @Paddyswurds

        Actually I think most people are more balanced and laid back these days … Some people will be comfortable about talking about their orientation and some will not – in the same way that we all have different personality traits (not saying that orientation is a trait before you accuse me of that – merely that willingness to disclose personal information is a personality trait).

        Recognising this, many will make their own choices as to whether or not to come out.

        It is equally wrong that people should not have the freedom to come out and be frank and honest about their orientation as it is that they should be vilified and pressurized by certain sections of LGBT communities. If anything such vilification is counterproductive in pushing others more deeply inside their own closet.

  7. HelenWilson 18 May 2011, 12:38pm

    Well done the Met for investigating this cheating scumbag, he is not fit to sit in a parish council, let alone be an MP………….He should not be allowed to use his sexuality to shield his fraudulent behaviour. No government department would accept it as an excuse from us plebs for being fraudulent, so the privileged gilt plated MPs should be held to the same standards. No if, no buts, no well he could of claimed more if he wanted.

    1. Fair does, he couldn’t use his sexuality but most companies would give an acceptance if it’s cheaper for them anyway.
      He legally and perfectly acceptably could have taken alot more with out having to pay it back so he’s not using his sexuality as a “sheild” it’s a valid point.

      1. HelenWilson 18 May 2011, 1:09pm

        We don’t give leniency to bank robbers who only take half the money in the bank do we! Maybe we should be lenient on the MP who claimed for eight laptops, after all he could of claimed for twenty.

        1. No your missing the point he could of legally taken more with out ever having to repay it. there would have been no scandal and he would have had no problem, It’s obviously not about the money but instead about his sexuality

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 2:14pm

      Ok but this story is about why he hid his sexuality not why he claimed expenses.

    3. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 2:16pm

      Also he was found not to have broken the law unlike other MPs.
      While I accept he is being punished severely in ‘Parliament’ terms he still didn’t do for financial gain unlike the other facing jail.

    4. The sob story about him having to pay back a family loan to repay his expenses and poor pet having to move to a smaller property, makes him even more vile. A desperate attempt for him to garner sympathy, typical clueless politician scum.

      1. I know its like that tory asshole who said we were jealous cause hes got a big house. Nothing to do with stealing our taxes.

    5. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:30pm

      I wasn’t aware the Met had investigated him that much. Basically they relied for the most part on the Standards Commissioner referring cases to them, and are dealing with this only as part of the residue sweep-up. I doubt they spend 20 minutes on him.

    6. To be fair the Met have not announced an investigation – an MP has made a referral to the Met – it does not necessarily follow that this will result in a police investigation – it probably will to cover the Met from being accused of failing to investigate (regardless was the evidence is).

      It seems duplicitous that when this has already been investigated by a watchdog who has brought punishment and has the recourse to refer to police and chose not to that an MP thinks he knows better and has full access to the facts …

  8. I always found this case really difficult. On the one hand i feel really sympathetic for his fear about coming out. On the other I dont like the hand he shafted the taxpayer.

    1. If you’d call claiming £30,000 LESS than he would have been entitled to doing it the proper way “shafting the taxpayer” then I could do with a few more MPs “shafting” us.

      Not saying what he did was right, but it was cheaper for the taxpayer, even the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has acknowleged that.

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:32pm

        Can you point to where in the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner report, a copy of which I have, does it say that he was claiming £30,000 LESS than he would have been entitled to doing it the proper way? I cannot spot that.

        1. The exact amount of 30,000 is a number repeated by Laws in the PSC statement, the commissioner himself didn’t give that exact figure, I was mistaken about that.
          However, the commissioner has written in the report:
          We also recognize the fact that, if he had been more open, Mr Laws would have had substantial legitimate claims against his Somerset property.
          And:
          I believe it is right to recognise that Mr Laws’ ACA claims were below the maxima provided by the allowance—and increasingly so in the later years—and I recognise his evidence that, had he claimed for his Somerset property, and had he wished to do so, he could have claimed considerably more.
          So although the actual figure estimated by Laws of 30,000 isn’t repeated by the commissioner, it does say that is claims were lower than he would have been entitled to and that he legally could have claimed considerably more than he did.

  9. Pink News: “He also said he regrets his actions because they set a poor example to LGBT young people.”

    Talking of setting examples, I’d suggest that media, and children’s TV in particular has far more influence on young people than accountant David Laws ever did. At least the ‘My Hero’ Project in America is starting to take note of these concerns. It would be nice to see kids’ TV in Britain do more to acknowledge LGBT people today and in history.

    1. I think he could have left the “young” part out of his apology…..it’s not so much the young but all those people who are in workforcre etc that he’s left down because he’s apparently too scared to reveal his sexuality at the ripe old age of 40s, despite having been a millti-millionaire, successful mp whose party promotes LGBT rights. I just can’t help thinking that it was more to do with what a lib dem policy at consitutency level that may be the problem, are they encouraged to keep their sexuality a secret by their selectors becuase they think they are more likely to get more votes for a straight person than a gay one…it would be interesting to know if there is pressure within the party to keep their sexuality quiet….

    2. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:33pm

      Pass the sick bag, Doris. As if he cared what example he set to young people.

      1. @Dan

        Maybe you don’t think he cares …

        Maybe with hindsight he cares more than you do or you think …

        I think its arrogant and tasteless for you to use phrases such as “pass the sick bag” …

        As if you know whether he cares or not …

  10. I came out in 1968 when I was 18, so I’ve given my age away now. I took it on the chin, managed to get through it unscathed and determined not to let taunts and ridicule get the better of me. This was in a small small seaside town on the south east coast of 45,000 people at the time.

    I think Mr. Law can earn some respect by getting behind marriage equality. The more equal we become, the better chance that discrimination will abate, especially bullying in schools. Being treated as separate but “equal” does nothing to eradicate prejudice, in fact it enables it.

    1. @Robert

      Whilst I think your experience is one to be respected, I don’t think anyones individual decision to come out has implications for whether another person should wish to come out or not …

      I do fully agree with your view that Laws can gain respect by getting wholeheartedly behind full marriage equality ….

  11. Eddy - from 2007 18 May 2011, 2:25pm

    I have a friend who works in the City and because of the young red-blooded heterosexual guys he’s surrounded by, with all their laddish sexist jokes and so forth, he doesn’t risk letting them know he’s gay. He’s seen them sneer at gays.

    Yes, you could say it’s up to HIM to confront them, but as long as homophobia goes on behind the scenes people will continue to hide.

    I don’t hide but I don’t fool myself that everyone accepts me. I KNOW of certain people who make homophobic remarks about me and my partner behind the scenes.

    There’s a difference between certain career situations and others. A gay guy can often be completely out if he’s working as, for example, a delivery man. He’s very much his own person, he collects his parcels for the day and then he’s outta there and by himself. That’s not the same situation as a crowded office of sharp lads in the City.

    1. whymewhyme 18 May 2011, 4:12pm

      i worked in the city and the banks have E&D departments. it ain’t easy but it is possible to be out.

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:35pm

        ..and an increasing number of City firms are taking part in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality programme, and are coming into line with decent treatment of their LGBT employees (mostly gay men, as gender equality is a bit of a novelty in the City too).

    2. Why are we talking up young lads in the city, the guy is a 40 something lib dem MP, he hasn’t worked as a “la” in the city for donkey’s yrs….we all know the laddish comments and it’s not only in the “city” nor is it in “city” jobs with sharp lads it’s quite usual with dumbos as well. The guy was in a MP in the most gay friendly party, are you suggesting the lib dems are laddish and homophobic?

    3. In passing, why is it only heterosexual men are said to be ‘red-blooded’? What do we have, pink blood?

    4. I havent the experience of working in the City, but I do have lots of experience of working in the public sector (police officer, NHS and localo government). All three of these areas are regarded as gay friendly – all of my current and former employers are members of the Stonewall workplace equality programme, some of them have very strong pro-active diversity departments and programmes …

      That said, I have experienced a culture of homophobia pervading a team or department despite the wider organisation supporting diversity …

      It is difficult sometimes, and it can be used against an individual still if they stand up and be counted … I have done so both to my benefit and to my cost …

      It must be an individuals choice – but we need to ensure that we continue to strive for greater equality and inclusiveness throughout all aspects of society

  12. Sorry but in this case if you go into politics and you are representing people then you have to be honest on everything. It lets the electorate know where we stand.

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 2:51pm

      I guess that depends if he, or others think of themselves as a Gay man or a man who just happens to be Gay.

      1. Paul Brownsey 18 May 2011, 4:58pm

        It doesn’t depend only on that. He says he was anxious that people might put two and two together. This suggests he might have been less than assiduous if a constituent had sought his help on a gay-related matter, in case people put two and two together… So his attitude made him unfit to be an MP.

        1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 5:36pm

          I don’t see that being that the Lib Dems have been For Equal Right and Equal marriage.
          So being his party has been supportive so could he be.

        2. I dont see how someone who chooses not to disclose their sexual orientation is therefore going to be less supportive on a gay related matter. Heterosexual MPs are very supportive of gay constituents in gay related matters and Laws is intelligent enough to realise that supporting a gay case would not label him as gay. Largely constituents interests do not become matters of media interest in any event.

          So his attitude made him human – that is one of the requirements to be an MP, in my book

  13. A sad but unremarkable tale of closetry and fears about coming out, probably still not that uncommon, unfortunately.
    It does not excuse ripping off the tax-payer for thousands without even the excuse of financial embarrassment.
    However, I suppose he will be back in ministerial office before too long. Politicians of all stripes seem to be pretty shameless nowadays.

    1. Galadriel1010 19 May 2011, 3:18pm

      He didn’t exactly rip them off for thousands. He disobeyed the rules to claim less than he should have because otherwise people might have asked questions. Compared to people claiming for having their moats cleaned it’s positively altruistic.

  14. I don’t condemn David Laws for his cowardice.

    His lack of courage is sad and pathetic and vaguely incomprehensible. But it’s his own business as to why he lacked a spine about coming out.

    I do condemn David Laws for his dishonesty.

    He is clearly not fit for purpose as an MP thanks to his dishonesty.

    I would encourage him to step down at the next general election.

    A dishonest politician is all too frequent and should not be tolerated.

    Personally I feel he should be treated in the same manner as a benefit cheat ie investigated by the police and charged with a crime if the evidence is sufficient.

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 3:26pm

      If it’s all dishonest politicans you want removed from Parliament, I doubt they’d be anyone left.

      1. Good, need fresh blood with belief and conviction not the shower of fraudsters we got now.

      2. Indeed – but not all MP’s have been caught stealing from taxpayers (and then acting as if this is OK, because their spinelessness was the reason they were stealing).

        1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:36pm

          Quite!

        2. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 9:17am

          I’m not just talking about MP’s and their expenses when I’m talking about Politicans and honesty.

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 3:26pm

      Since when have you heard of an honest politican?

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:38pm

        I’ve heard and indeed met some.

        1. yea chief, i’m sure they have radar to meet n greet the gullible by now.

        2. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 8:10am

          An honest politican is about as common as the Dodo!

        3. How many times have you met an honest politician who actually does well in politics is more precise unluckily politics today is about who can lie the best and if you can’t completely sell out then you won’t go up the ranks

      2. Spanner1960 22 May 2011, 1:52pm

        You know the old joke:

        Q: How do you know when a politician is lying?

        A: His lips move.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 May 2011, 2:40pm

          Yep, pretty much sums it up!

  15. A proud Canadian 18 May 2011, 4:02pm

    Could we please stop judging and criticizing that one person just for one moment and realize that he is only human !!!! I have a friend who is 70 and is still struggling with his identity !!!!
    Every person has to deal with being gay in his own personal way !!!!!

    1. I bet your 70 year old mate isn’t making cuts that will affect the poorest while letting big business like google vodafone and top shop off their corporate tax bills?

      Btw Haven’t you got some seals to club?

    2. Yes he is only human.

      But considering that he freely chose to enter public life, then he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

      What sort of person is this?

      A wealthy, middle-aged man, in a long term relationship, in a gay friendly political party, that is so frightened of coming out that he steals from taxpayers rather than admit his ‘dirty'[ secret – that he is gay.

      I believe that his behaviour is pathetic, cowardlty and ridiculous,

      I expect more from an elected public official.

    3. He wasn’t ‘struggling’ with his identity, he was concealing it. Whatever one thinks of that, his version of the ’80s is simply incorrect and an attempt to rewrite history to suit his current predigament. Many of us commenting here were there and know what tosh this is.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 5:48pm

        Or maybe it’s the way he genuinely saw it to him.
        Not everyone feels the same.

        1. I agree, Jock. It’s very easy to judge others and make assumptions. I used to do it myself about gay people who weren’t out – I’d assume they were purposely dishonest or cowards or whatever – but having met a gay man who is nothing like my stereotype and understood why he hasn’t come out, I don’t judge people any more. Everyone’s different – everyone has different levels of confidence, different circumstances, maybe even a delay in realising they’re gay or feeling uncertain about their identity. Or maybe they’re simply worried about their families. Who knows? But it’s not right to judge others simply because so many people now find it easy to come out.

          1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 8:19am

            Indeed Iris.
            I think people should step back a bit and stop attacking those who don’t ‘come out’ as cowards and instead look at the reasons they feel they can’t ‘come out’.
            What may seem easy to one person isn’t for another and where one person may think someone is a coward another will see and relate.
            It’s all very well saying it’s not illegal so it’s easy but plain truth is there are still a lot in society that don’t make it easy and it is those people that are the cowards for allowing others to feel the need to hide themselves.
            If only straight people could feel what it’s like to be treated as someone different, as someone whose been made to feel ashamed of themselves.
            Maybe it’ll go someway into helping how badly discrimination affects others.
            But they won’t and that goes someway into seeing the problem.

          2. But he was out really, he had a partner for the last 9 yrs and if you have a close partner then it’s pretty obvious that he’s your partner. The implication is that he was out but not to the public iethe voters of Yeovil. Your friend doesn’t stand in front of 40000 people or so or doesn’t stand up in parliament and represent people. It’s a completely different scenario. I doubt whether your friend would also be willing to write a book on his outing and do interviews as well, Laws has no qualms over this. I stll don’t feel we have the real reason why he kept it a secret, blaming the 70s, 80s or the deciminlisation of homosexuality doesn’t ring true. Previously it was his family’s fault, he didn’t want to upset them. More spin I’m afraid. I fear the lib dems don’t want to appear to have a gay MP particulary in a place like Yeovil….some of these areas are either lib dem or conservative…they can still be a bit critical of gays and don’t want them as their mps.

          3. How would people treat CallMeDave if he had to confess he is in a long term intimate affair with a financial lobbyist?

          4. Galadriel1010 19 May 2011, 3:26pm

            I think it’s important to remember as well that he wasn’t out to his parents, and once you’ve left it as late as he had (one assumes that they’re in their late 60s at least), I imagine it could become very difficult.

            As it is, I don’t recall if he managed to tell them himself before the Telegraph published it.

          5. @John

            But he wasnt out – he may have had a partner but his friends and colleagues (as reported by The Times) were unaware of his orientation …

            He was not out to the voters or Yeovil and many many people who were close to him …

            I don’t doubt there may have been some who were aware – but many who felt they were close to him state they had not knowledge

      2. I agree the 80s wasn’t that bad , I was about the same age as this guy at that time, at uni, in my 20s and not really out to all. But for heavens sake, both he and I and now in our 40s, and it’s 2011. What you were in the 80s and 70s (ie at school) doesn’t mean who you are now ie all grown up , been thru a few jobs, had some up and downs etc…it’s hard to believe the guy never grew up and matured? This all does sound like another round of spin, more like a policy to have kept in the closet to be more acceptable as a canditate in Yeovil. …What do the lib dem big wigs tell gay mps to do, keep in the closet and you’ll be alright, you’ll get the Yeovil seat, just don’t mention the fact that you are gay?

      3. @Wingby

        His version of the 80s is incorrect in your view of it – you can not say whether his perception was real to him or not … I personally found the 80s a nightmare period with regards my orientation and the 90s not much better until around 1995/6. So please do not tell me it was all ok and no problems and everyone should have been perfectly happy in coming out because I know what tosh that is

    4. sorry – it is different for public figures.
      He chose to be an MP which brings a level of scrutiny. He also chose to claim the expense he knew he wasn’t entitiled to as he was living with his partner. This is not about him being gay – it is about him making the wrong choices.
      Everything else in his interview comes over as pathetic spin – having to sell the house! letting the little children down! come on Mr Laws – you are still having trouble telling the honest truth.

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:39pm

        Quite! He’s still trying to spin his way out of his mess.

        1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 9:14am

          Just proof that some people are Never happy unless they got something to whinge about..

  16. whymewhyme 18 May 2011, 4:09pm

    this guy really starts to make me angry – the last 9 years were in the 21st century and thanks to legislation (by Labour) we gays can live at least legally in a open and protected environment.

    i’m 54 – older than him and i’ve lived in tough and rough areas and always been out – i’ve done my bit for gay rights starting in GLF in the 70s and also in a corporate E&D organisation for a major bank – i put my neck out because pride was more important than financial gain – everyone should have a free choice about being out but that means NOT fiddling systems to make things worse for out gays – you let the side down Mr Lawless

    it angers me that you’ve associated cheap fiddles with gays after all our years of campaigning.

    1. Not only that. This guy is another opportunist. All this emotional nonsense is another PR tactic just in time to try counter the latest bad news about the future of his “political career”. His talent has been widely advertised, since before his coming out as a “politician”. He’s always been an expert in lining his personal pockets at other people’s expenses, and that is the motive this shambolic coalition is trying to get him in.

      1. @Beberts

        I would much rather someone was honest about their emotions than denied they exist as you repeatedly do in your comments on PN

        The reality is that because Laws broke the rules and was dishonest in some of his expenses means that it is easy for those that dont support Laws to claim he is being dishonest – as in the boy who cried wolf – because he has been dishonest once means that he may have been dishonest again – whilst I would argue he is more likely to be contrite and honest in any media encounters now due to his prior dishonesty and that human emotion is a real, honest thing which is to be welcomed in public life

  17. I have sympathy with Laws on a human level.

    My problem with him is that he is an elected public official.

    Therefore his cowardice and dishonesty cannot simply be swept under the carpet.

    If Laws is capable of denying the existence of his partner of 9 years, then I’d not put anything past him.

  18. why should the poor bugger be pushed into apologising for the effects of homophobia?

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 4:40pm

      Quite!

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:44pm

        Because his problems do not stem from homophobia as several MPs were out and gay by the time he entered Parliament. His problem was he thought Yeovil could not stomach what Lambeth and Camden can. He underestimated his constituency (which after all had stomached Paddy ‘Pantsdown’ Ashdown). He still does not recognise that living with a Parliamentary lobbyist presents some potential for a conflict of interest if you have a financial, as well as an emotional, relationship with that man.

        1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 8:27am

          But your treating every one as the same.
          We are not.
          To suggest otherwise is unfair.
          People experience different things, fear different things.
          We should not be treated regimentally, like we must all do the same, feel the same…
          It doesn’t work like that.
          At the end of the day David Laws is just as human as the rest of us, thats where the similarity ends.
          Of course now he has accepted his coming out was the best thing life goes on and by being through this publically he may have helped others.
          However there still will be plenty of others who still don’t feel they can come out and I hope in time they can see that life in the LGBT community is, when accepted a happy and fulfilling one.

          1. Every man has to stand up and be counted. Id rather live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep. The man is a spineless snivelling coward and more embarrasing every time he opens his mouth. I wish hed fcuk off back into the closet

          2. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 9:21am

            Prehaps you’d also prefer he became one of those nasty homophobic closets cases James!
            I don’t care how he came out really what matters NOW is that he is and is supportive.
            It’s not like he was one of those staying in the closet whilst doing the LGBT community damage by voting against Gay rights and panning us at every opportunity like so many in the US, usually preachers.
            So you unforgiving unless someone only comes out easy like you did.
            Get over yourself and step back into the real world.

        2. So thats homophobia wether its from the party or from his constituents. If sexuality was no big deal then he would have come out years ago.

          1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 3:36pm

            Excellent point Hamish.

          2. Well said Hamish

    2. Spanner1960 20 May 2011, 6:02pm

      Because the “poor bugger” is using homophobia as a scapegoat. If he had some young filly as a partner, people would have wiped the floor with him.

      He is merely using his sexuality as a scapegoat and excuse for his own wrongdoing. Contrary to popular belief on these forums, there are good and bad of everybody, and this guy happens to be gay and extremely underhand in his actions, and should viewed appropriately. The man is a scumbag.

    3. Quite – and its facile to suggest that this has to do with the impact on his cosnitutents – it may equally be to do with impact of people close to him – or his own (whether rational or not) fears of outcome … we don’t know what experiences he has seen of homophobia and this may inform his decision making …

      Clearly, he has not had a negative response to being gay – despite the barracking and ridicule of a certain group which can not understand why he did not want to come out – every person has their own story and their own experiences and will have witnessed and understood things in a different way

      To then ridicule these experiences and understanding is to completely fail to understand the fact that every person has a different life experience

  19. I would say that growing up gay in the fifties was tough, I was not allowed to mix with other boys in the Children’s home in Bromborough, my now deceased parents were not supportive, it was hard to find people like myself, although there were underground meeting places such as Sadies in Liverpool and such like round the ‘Magic Clock’, which has become St John’s Shopping Centre. One wonders how we lived through those times, When the law of homosexuality was decriminalised, there still were a lot of people jailed because of their sexuality. A friend of mine was sent to prison for 8 years and in those days, it was 8 years. He came out of prison, a broken man and died shortly after. As a community, we should be glad that there are people working to give us Equality and I hope before I die, the opportunity of Same-Sex Marriage, and no, for those that want a religious, fair enough, I have never stepped inside a church for over 40 years.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Peter. To the rest of you some of us don’t have the luxury of a closet and have to deal with it.

  20. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 4:48pm

    I think everyone deserves a second chance esp when Labour were famous for dragging out bad, corrupt MP’s who got umpteen chances and even peerages.
    At least David Laws went by his own doing. Something that was refreshing after Labour.

    1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:46pm

      Went by his own going? Never believe a ‘resignation’ letter.

      1. Spanner1960 20 May 2011, 5:58pm

        He jumped before he was pushed.

        1. @Spencer

          You may be right – but he made the choice to go regardless if he was not pushed (which there is evidence that at the time neither Cameron or Clegg wanted him to go)

          So his integrity in terms of timing of leaving office is his own. His integrity regarding his failures and actions obviously is different – but he resigned at a time he chose

          1. Jock S. Trap 22 May 2011, 11:45am

            Who? ;)

          2. Doh … that comes with doing two things at the same time …

            I hope my friends email isnt addressed Dear Spanner ….

          3. Jock S. Trap 23 May 2011, 11:06am

            That’ll teach you to play with you work!
            Put is down while you typing, you can focus better.

  21. He had money and the status and being heterosexual would make him perfect.

    1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:48pm

      It’s far from clear how much money he really had. He may be one of thoser rare beings who may have chosen to overstate how much money he made in the City in order to create the image that he had been a big success there, so impressing a gullible constituency and also making a job as shadow Treasury spokesman possible. Obviously he made some money, but there’s a web of mortgages in this story.

    2. You’d fancy him then, eh, Kane?

      1. Yeah I bet Kane’s getting hard and horny for him lol. Kane likes money and status, what a slag he is!

    3. @Kane

      I also thought he had made money. He certainly isn’t as wealthy as may have appeared to be the case but he isnt impoverished either.

  22. Its one thing to be in the closet, but when one is gay and a politician and who votes successively against equality, as some have done, then I have a major issue with that. I’m not religious but do believe in redemption. He can prove he’s contrite by pro-actively supporting marriage equality and the time is now.

    1. Whilst I’m not very sympathetic towards Mr Laws (despite being a Lib Dem, I’m pretty heartless when it comes to closetcases in Parliament), I will say he has NEVER voted against LGBT equality. And as a member of the Lib Dems I’m pretty sure he’s alright with marriage equality (it is our policy after all, let’s not mention the tuition fees policy though… ). Thankfully there is Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert in Parliament who brings up marriage equality at just about every opportunity he can. Yay for out and proud politicians and boo to those who have to be dragged out of the closet kicking and screaming.

      1. What only 1 lib dem MP bringing up the subject of marriage equality?? Simply voting on party policy isn’t enough, not that he is out and “proud” then he can start earning our respect and start mouthing off about more LGBT issues and start asking question like Stephen Gilbert, he doesn’t have to be the only one!

      2. @Jae

        In an ideal world I would like every man and women to be open and honest about their orientation gay bi straight trans or whatever … regardless of whether they served in public office or not …. but we do not live in an ideal world – many have suffered or witnessed homophobia and being in public office is not an issue which means it is a requirement to be transparent about sexual preferences

        Coming out is a very personal issue and tying that into someones decision to serve is as damaging as those who have a view that homophobia is acceptable

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 May 2011, 5:38pm

      Robert
      Being that the Lib Dems are the only party to support Equal marriage wouldn’t he be pro-actively supportive anyway.
      It is party policy after all.
      Though I get what you mean.

      1. Dan Filson 18 May 2011, 7:51pm

        I don’t think his equality record is unsound even if he looks like a bog-standard white middle- class male from the City. And I wouldn’t urge flowered shirts onto him to prove his ‘diversity’

    3. @Robert

      I agree entirely with you

      I do think he has a good record on votes for equality so far

  23. You’d have thought that someone who was so sensitive about his sexuality might have steered clear of life in the public eye.

    I have no sympathy for him at all, it was entirely his own doing. If you don’t want secrets to come out about you either a) don’t engage in that activity or b) don’t attract attention to yourself.

    Just another politician who thought they could be a hypocrite and not get found out.

    1. Galadriel1010 19 May 2011, 3:51pm

      He’s a Lib Dem MP. How is that seeking a life in the public eye?

  24. Man some people are way to party political. If your criticise laws you automatically get hit with “yeah but labour did it worse” or “the tories were worse”. Despite being a dyed in the wool lefty im big enough to admit that each party has MP’s who have never fiddled the system. And each party has those who did. I am adult enough to criticise all those who fiddled the system irrespective of political allegiance.

    On the subject of honest politicians, I think that on the whole the Lib dems a while back were definitely the most honest (people like Menzies Campbell and Charles kennedy being good examples of honest politicians). It is weird how in terms of honesty of conviction it is those clearly on the left (John Cruddas,Kennedy, Mcdonnell etc) and people clearly on the right (such as Nigel Farage) who are the most honest. Those who end up leading 3 main parties (Cameron, Miliband, Clegg) are so dishonest. Its kinda depressing.

    Being in Northern Ireland however, I would say that you…

    1. …. you Brits should be a little be easier on your political class. You should see the extreme corruption and absolute crazies we have across the political spectrum over here. Labour, tories, lib dems cant touch our parties in terms of dishonesty.

      1. Don Harrison 18 May 2011, 5:46pm

        Indeed Scott

      2. Paula Thomas 19 May 2011, 7:07am

        Yeah Scott but how do you think we keep our politics relatively clean? Coming down very hard on corruption when we find it is how!!

        1. Spanner1960 22 May 2011, 2:02pm

          Well, that is a relatively ne concept, and it’s only since the Law Lords were disbanded that the Law and Politics were seen as two separate entities.

          I suspect until the recent expenses scandal that ministers, lords and civil servants were all fleecing us rotten, getting away with murder (literally) and generally doing what the hell they pleased. Anybody remember Jeremy Thorpe?

          It’s nice to see a few disgraced politicians do a bit of porridge at last. These people are elected by us, but are not above us.

  25. I doubt very much that my employer would be sympathetic if I stole £40,000 from them just to hide my sexuality. I would have been sacked on the spot, arrested by the police and hauled up before a court facing a possible prison sentence. Regardless of what was David Laws’ motive, the fact is that he claimed taxpayer’s money which he was not entitled to.

    1. Hear, hear. And I’d guess you’d get hung out to dry for much less than 40 grand.
      Laws is a crook who has got off absurdly lightly. And a pretty dumb one for nicking money for something he wanted to hide.
      What a wonderful political class we have! Of all sexualities!

    2. However if you claimed expenses like bus travel which cost less than car travel which you where entitled to don’t you think your boss would let you off

      1. And even if your boss didn’t then an appeal council would

    3. But they might not be concerned if you had been entitled to £70,000 but only claimed £40,000 – slap on wrist – don’t do it again kind of thing …. I have seen cases like that where initially discipline was started because of claims that were incorrect but when it was examined the organisation benefitted and thus it was decided not to act because of the furore that could occur if the matter went to employment tribunal

  26. Tom Stoppard 18 May 2011, 5:57pm

    Not impressed by his excuses.

    Now he has a chance to make the UK a better place for gay people.

    He’d better take it.

  27. Nobody seems to have noticed that his boyfriend (ex-boyfriend) is a lobbyist. To me that raises the issue of potential conflict of interest. Which I find to be more of an issue than the rent.

    1. Lots of politicians of all political hues have relationships with political lobbyists – its perfectly natural that this will happen …

      Its incumbant on both parties to manage their professional life appropriately

      Its no different to someone who is a doctor having a patient who is known to their partner and not disclosing confidential information …

  28. The issue here is not whether he should or should not have come out or feared of the consequences. He miss-appropriated public funding and for that he should be punished in the same way other polititions have been: ie: Police investigation and possible leagl action. I remember David Cameron’s pre -election pledge to remove sleeze from politics. I suppose this comes under the same category as “we are all in this together” when it comes to deficit reduction and cuts.

    1. The issue is that people are seeing criminality where it doesnt exist

      He has made it perfectly clear why he acted the way he did which means that I can not see any jury finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt – there is plenty of doubt …. and I can not see it getting to a jury because even if the police do investigate – I can not see the DPP or CPS authorizing charge as being either in the public interest or meeting the evidential requirements to proceed

  29. Over the years the trap I have seen many gay men, who avoid being out about their sexual orientation, fall into is dishonesty. It is like they get so good at hiding the truth about their sexuality they start hiding the truth about other things, like expenses claims.

    1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 9:24am

      Oh well never mind, I guess we all make mistakes that is part of being human.
      Everyone has the right to have a second chance.

      1. Those with lots of money are allowed as many mistakes and chances as they want. The poor are sent to workhouses or to the gaols. This is what this government is all about.

        1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 10:50am

          And yet the last Labour government widened the gap between rich and poor, Beberts, so that comment make very little sense.

          1. Maybe in the last few years but before that they closed the gap massively and the Tory government last time widened it a ridiculous amount.
            I agree I dislike the fact that the Labour government kept putting Tory policies in but thats no reason to go full tilt and vote the actual tories in.

          2. That’s probably in line with your worldview, since you also blame the last government for the financial crisis. Yet you conveniently forget the current coalition not only supported, but actively encouraged financial deregulation, which is a policy that started under previous Tory governments.

          3. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 12:20pm

            Actual the Rich/Poor divide grew under Blair.
            http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/aug/02/socialexclusion.politics
            Beberts, I’m afraid the fact Labour widened the gap between Rich and Poor is fact where you like it or not or indeed make excuses for it even Ed Milibore acknowledges that.
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10598613

          4. It doesn’t take a genious to realise the conflicts of interest and how these influence the parties policies. It has been mentioned above that the gap widened only in the last years of Labour government. If you want to analise the actual situation, and how it’ll develop now, look no further than here:

            http://www.politics.co.uk/news/opinion-former-index/legal-and-constitutional/revealed-city-s-financial-support-for-the-tories-$21387139.htm

          5. Jock you cant pretend to care about the gap between rich and poor and vote tory. Right wing policies which were followed by labour, and now by tories are what are responsible for the gap. Do you really think the tories will in any way reduce the gap between rich and poor?

          6. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 3:38pm

            Beberts
            I guess we can go on assumption, I’ll just wait and see.

          7. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 3:39pm

            Scott
            I have ever only voted Tory once and that was last year and that was because I care a lot about the state of the economy.
            Something I didn’t trust Labour with and still wouldn’t.
            Apparently I am not alone.

          8. Jock S. Trap 21 May 2011, 9:42am

            Oh well, thats alright Beberts, so long as you have an excuse to make these things happening under Labour fine and accept that makes all the difference.
            Hypocrite!

          9. @Jock S Trap

            Depending on the constituency I had found myself in, I would have considered voting Conservative at the last election – something I have never ever done in any election previously …

            I would have done so because I care about the economy

          10. Jock S. Trap 22 May 2011, 11:47am

            Stu
            Yep that was my main motive for voting Tory for the first time in the last General Election.

        2. ‘Workhouses’? If only!

          1. Jock S. Trap 22 May 2011, 2:42pm

            Think thats Tescos these days innit?!
            (just kiddin!)

        3. Chip on your shoulder, Beberts – who would ever have thought

    2. Well the papers (I think) knew he was gay and knew he had fiddled his expense. I can also remember a PN article saying there were rumours about him being gay in the Westminister village for a long time. So I can only think that the only people who didn’t know he was gay was the public. Which questions why he was not advised to come clean sooner by his collegues. Why it was ok for him to say that he was whiter than white and had not been part of the expense claims saga during his election campaign. ..I think all MPs are pretty good at twisting words which to some of us come across as being dishonest…..they are all good at not giving you the full story, dressing things up a bit…

      1. Jock S. Trap 19 May 2011, 10:52am

        Make me wonder if the Lib Dems hadn’t been in government would he still be doing it?

      2. @John

        The Times had an editorial which made it quite clear that the Westminster village were surprised by the announcement he was gay

  30. connor wallace 19 May 2011, 10:44am

    I don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a sneak thief and should be setting a better example.

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