Friday, 13 May 2011
Lib Dem MP Suspended Over Expenses Claims
Another day and another set - back for the embattled Lib Dems. David Laws, MP and former ConDem coalition Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is likely to be suspended from Parliament after the Parliamentary Commissioner on Standards investigation found that he was ‘guilty of a series of serious breaches of the rules, over a considerable time’.
Laws has apologised to the House of Commons and paid back over £50,000, whilst continuing to insist that he was not motivated by financial gain, but wanted to keep secret that he was having a gay affair with, incredibly, a political lobbyist, James Lundie. This excuse is a bit far fetched, when these days even Tory MP’s are quite open about their sexual orientation. Who really gives a damn about what Laws does in bed?
The issue is not about secrecy anyway, it is about making fraudulent claims on the public purse, after all the bad publicity of recent years, here is another MP with his snout in the trough. John Lyon, the Standards Commissioner ruled that over seven years Laws deceived the Commons authorities by submitting claims to pay a ‘landlord’, James Lundie, with whom he had a relationship. Basically, he was claiming, and above the market rate by the way, for staying over night at his lover’s house. Laws also claimed for other costs, such as maintenance work, that would normally be included in the rent of a genuine lodger.
Despite all the expense scandals of recent times, MP’s just don’t seem to get it.
The public are quite rightly furious over this type of behaviour, but MP’s just seem to try and shrug it off, with pathetic excuses. All of this after the clear out of corrupt politicians at the General Election last year, and promises from the new government of a zero tolerance policy to breaches of integrity by MP’s.
Laws of course is desperate to get back into the Cabinet, and Nick Clegg is equally desperate to have him back, to try and shore up the Lib Dem side of the coalition, but this is just another grave error of political judgement from Clegg, who can’t seem to get anything right these days.
The very thought of Laws being allowed back into the government after his behaviour, a government that is slashing public services left right and centre, with the mantra ‘we’re all in it together’ is an insult to the British public. I suppose they could give him the job of cutting people’s benefits when they cohabit a couple of nights a week but claim single separate benefits?
Laws should not be allowed back into government, and he should get more than seven days suspension from Parliament, he should be arrested and charged with fraud, and probably sent to prison. Then justice would be seen to be done, but instead we will likely have to put up with his whinging about privacy, until he is rehabilitated back into the government in year or so. Here’s a government that is hypocritical and rotten to the core.