Laws ‘faces police expenses probe’

By Alex Stevenson

Disgraced former Cabinet minister David Laws could be the subject of an investigation into his expenses claims by the police, according to reports.

The Liberal Democrat MP, who quit from the coalition government after just three weeks in the Treasury last year, was punished with a seven-day suspension from the Commons last week.

He had claimed allowances used to pay his landlord rent – but argued he had done so to cover up the fact that his landlord was also his gay lover.

Reports this lunchtime suggested MP Thomas Docherty’s complaint to the police had been taken up.

But the Metropolitan police has consistently refused to comment on specific individuals.

A spokesperson said a small number of cases remain subject to consideration remained the subject of consideration or were still under investigation.

Mr Laws told the Times newspaper that he regretted the decision to hide his sexuality.

“I think everybody when they grow up and when they are young, likes to fit in and doesn’t like to… stand out in a way that is likely to be ridiculed or to cause people to not want to be friends with them or whatever,” he said.

“And therefore it was always easier at school, ever since I can remember being aware of my sexuality, to keep it secret.

“You never know when people are going to put two and two together. Given that this went on for nine years or so, that’s quite a long time to live in secrecy.”

Mr Laws, whose resignation was regarded as a serious blow to the coalition last May, advised Lib Dem ministers to maintain a “trusting relationship” with Conservative colleagues in government.

Lib Dems are adopting a more confrontational approach to government as they seek to persuade the public they are having an impact on the coalition’s policies, but Mr Laws believes this carries risks.

“We could get our way over one or two key issues by storming off, voting against them, briefing against them, whatever,” he added.

“But when the next key issue is on the table and we need the cooperation of everybody in the coalition, will we get it? Maybe we won’t.”