David Laws ‘blocked’ from Lords… but MP who claimed expenses for moat-cleaning allowed in
Lib Dem David Laws was blocked from elevation to the House of Lords over the scandal that outed him as gay – but the ex-Tory MP who claimed expenses to clean his moat will be allowed in.
Influential Lib Dem MP David Laws 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, but bent the rules by keeping his partner off the books.
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 the appointment was reportedly blocked by the House of Lords Appointments Commission over the 2010 scandal.
Today the Dissolution Honours list was published – confirming that Mr Laws will not be heading to the Lords.
Astoundingly, though sources confirm he was blocked over ‘expenses’, former Tory MP Douglas Hogg – who famously claimed expenses to clean his moat – has been granted a life peerage.
Hogg – who stood down as an MP in 2010 after becoming a focus of public fury – billed the taxpayer £2,200 to clean the moat on his country estate while an MP.
Out Labour MP Wes Streeting tweeted: “Hogg peerage is two fingers to the people, who are still outraged by the expenses scandal. David Cameron hasn’t learned anything, has he?”
David Laws has spoken at length about his outing by 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.”