David Laws reportedly ‘blocked’ from becoming Lib Dem peer
Unseated Lib Dem minister David Laws has reportedly been blocked from elevation to the House of Lords – over the expenses scandal that outed him as gay.
The influential Lib Dem MP was briefly Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2010, but was forced to resign after it emerged he had concealed his same-sex partner in housing expenses claims – in a scandal which also outed him as gay.
Mr Laws would have actually been entitled to more expenses, had he declared the relationship and claimed for a mortgage jointly with his partner.
The MP later made a return as a government minister, though he lost his Yeovil seat in May this year as the Lib Dems faced an electoral wipe-out.
The politician was tipped to be heading to the House of Lords, in this summer’s Dissolution Honours list – but doubts have been cast over the appointment.
The Mail reports that “the seven-strong commission, chaired by the Independent peer Lord Kakkar, a distinguished hospital surgeon, blocked the honour because of his expenses”.
His appointment had been one of a number of those expected to be made in the Dissolution Honours, with a large number of Conservatives and a handful of Lib Dems set to be elevated to the Lords this summer.
David Laws has spoken at length about the scandal in the past, saying: “When I was born it wasn’t that long after homosexuality was decriminalised and, while I certainly wasn’t thinking about issues of law when I kept my sexuality secret, the view of homosexuality back in the 1970s and 1980s was not very tolerant amongst a large group of people.
“And therefore it was always easier at school, ever since I can remember being aware of my sexuality, to keep it secret.”
“I guess it was pretty stupid really, because all of the people I have spoken to… have accepted it without hesitation: my parents, family and friends. Not being honest with them has meant a huge price over recent years. I have had to keep a large part of my life secret.”