David Laws paying rent of £40,000 to long-term partner may have broken Commons rules
"The Cabinet minister charged with rescuing the Government’s finances has used taxpayers’ money to pay more than £40,000 to his long-term partner." - Telegraph
"Chief Treasury Secretary David Laws has apologised after it emerged he had been claiming MPs' expenses to rent rooms in homes owned by his partner." - BBC
David Laws has made an excellent start as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. A star had been born. Tory MPs swooned during his authoritative Commons performance last week. Only last night Paul Goodman was heaping praise on Mr Laws for ending taxpayer-funded pot plants in the Treasury.
Sadly Mr Laws is accused this morning of dishonest use of £40,000 of taxpayers' money. On the face of it Mr Laws does have a case to answer. House of Commons rules outlaw renting property from a partner. Mr Laws and Mr Lundy appear to have been in a relationship for nine years although Mr Laws suggests they have not lived as the equivalent of spouses. The Chief Secretary has referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and we should now wait on the Commissioner's verdict.
It is vital that a minister charged with very difficult spending choices has the confidence of the public.