Saturday, May 29, 2010

 

Loss of Laws Will be Big Blow to Cameron

Cameron must have been so delighted with the way his Chief secretary was shsping up as Expenditure Slasher in Chief. It's a pity David Laws had not been a bit more ruthless in scrutinising his own income. Giving your 'partner' a rent for staying in his property sounds a deal like Jaqui Smith's offence. His excuse is that the 2007 rule change specified a 'spouse' and his live-in 'boyfriend/landlord' does not fall into that category. The Committee on Standards in Public Life will decide but anyone who has been living with someone exclusively since 2001 sounds like a 'partner' or 'spouse', wouldn't you reckon?

I really cannot see how Laws can survive this one: he'll surely have to resign. In the wake of the expenses scandal, when the Lib Dems took such a sparkly white moral high ground position, he really should have checked things out more closely. It's kind of surprising that he didn't given how brilliant he clearly is. He took a double first in economics at, Kings Cambridge, became vice poresident of JP Morgan aged 22 and five years later was MD of Barclays Bank(he's made millions so can afford to pay the money back). You could also see the intellectual confidence of the man as he performed from the Despatch box.

If he goes- Paddy Ashdown hopes he won't but I can't see how he can stay- Cameron will have lost a great talent and a crucial political lightning rod to absorb the traumatic shock those future deep cuts are going to provoke. He'll want to replace him, I suspect with another Lib Dem but I can't see anyone comparable to Laws. Besides which, the junior partner might be wise to move such a prominent memeber of their party from slap bang in the firing line and let Dave find one of his own to take the flak.

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