Tuesday, June 01, 2010

David Laws is a thief and a liar

"My problems have been caused by my unwillingness to be open about my sexuality and not by any intention to exploit the MPs' expenses system," says David Laws.

"James Lundie and I were aware that we could have been far better off financially if I had been willing to be open about our relationship - but I was not," he adds. "I decided, therefore, to keep my sexuality secret, and the further time went on the more difficult it seemed to be to tell the truth."

"When the rules changed in 2006 to prevent MPs from renting from partners, I should probably have changed our arrangements. I could have done so without any financial cost, but getting a mortgage and buying a house together would have meant revealing our relationship - which I was not prepared to do."

But says Laws, his lover never used the parliamentary entitlement to travel for partners nor any financial entitlement that would result from the "formal recognition of partnership". And: "That is why I thought it would be all right for him to be treated as just a friend, when actually we were much more than that," he says.

So, rather than revealing his relationship, David Laws decided to break the rules ... his choice. He decided to take money under false pretences, pretending that his lover was not a "partner", when he knew damn well he was, and has now admitted as much.

That means he was not entitled to the money he claimed, under the specific terms under which he claimed it – and he knew that to be the case, at the time he made the claims. It is no defence to say that had he made a different application, he could have claimed more money, perfectly legally. He did not so claim. His choice was to make a false application. That makes him a thief.

His rival at the general election, Tory Kevin Davis, would have him as a liar as well.

"David (Laws) chose to base his whole campaign against me on two premises. He based his campaign on his image and comparison with me and not on policy," says Davis. "The first premise was that he was a squeaky clean MP on expenses. The second premise was that I did not live in Yeovil but lived in London. The first premise has now turned out to be a lie. The second one is hypocrisy."

We need to spell this out. David Laws is a thief and a liar. He is also (still) an MP - and "Call me Dave" thinks him "honourable".