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Why Laws’ departure seems such a let-down

It would be difficult to imagine having a worse weekend than the one David Laws has just had.

First, it is revealed that he had been diddling his parliamentary expenses, claiming £40,000 to pay rent to his partner.

Then he has to admit the partner is a man, a secret he had kept from family and friends for years.

To be outed as a cheat and as a gay on the same day is harsh.

And on top of all that he has to resign his influential job as effective deputy to the Chancellor, George Osborne. Well, we could hardly have someone who had wrongly claimed taxpayers’ money for accommodation through expenses being in charge of cutting public spending.

Somehow, it always seems worse when a Liberal Democrat is caught out in some way. We aren’t really surprised any more by what Labour and Tory politicians get up to, but naively, we expect better of the Lib Dems.

Yet, given the form of some leading members of the party — leadership challenger Mark Oaten resigned after it was revealed he had an affair with a rent boy; leader Paddy Asdown admitted an affair with his secretary and a successor, Charles Kennedy, resigned after confirming that he was receiving treatment for alcoholism — there is no reason to put the party on a pedestal.

Seems the old Lib Dems are inclined to take the liberal title a bit too literally.

Belfast Telegraph