David Laws faces suspension over expenses claims
Gay Liberal Democrat MP David Laws will reportedly be suspended for seven days for breaking expenses rules.
Sky News reports that the MP, who claimed he was trying to keep his sexuality secret, will also have to apologise to the House of Commons.
Yesterday, Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon found him in breach of six areas of Commons rules. The report is to be published tomorrow.
Mr Laws was chief secretary to the Treasury for just days last May. He resigned from the Cabinet when it was revealed he had paid £40,000 in expenses to his boyfriend who was also his landlord.
Commons rules prevent MPs from using expenses to pay rent to their partners. Mr Laws’ supporters argued that he could have claimed more if he had been open about the relationship.
Mr Laws’ expenses for utility bills, which were in “rounded” figures, were also examined by the standards commissioner.
The report will not be released until tomorrow and the MP’s return to the Cabinet could depend on whether he was judged to have broken rules for financial gain or to protect his relationship.
Prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg were understood to be keen to see him return to the Cabinet but this will depend on the wording in the report.
Last night a spokesman for Mr Cameron said: “What he has said in the past – and the deputy prime minister has also said – is that he hopes that one day David Laws will be able to return to government.”