DAVID Laws, the former cabinet minister who was yesterday suspended from the Commons for breaking expenses rules, should still be allowed to return to government, according to members of the City A.M./PoliticsHome Voice of the City Panel.
Thirty-nine per cent of panellists, who have been recruited from London’s business and financial community, said they would like to see Laws make a return to the cabinet, against 34 per cent who said they would not. Twenty-seven per cent said they did not know. All 356 panellists were interviewed yesterday, as news of Laws’ seven-day suspension broke.
As chief secretary to the Treasury, Laws became the public face of the coalition’s spending cuts and earned plaudits in the City for taking a no-holds-barred approach to reducing government expenditure.
But he was forced to resign just 17 days after the formation of the coalition, after it emerged he had paid rent to his gay partner without declaring the relationship to the parliamentary authorities. He has always said he was acting to keep his sexuality secret and not for financial gain.
Despite the views of our panellists, Laws’ suspension effectively ends his chances of making a quick ministerial comeback. Yesterday, an aide to deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “He’s not going to be back tomorrow or any time soon.”
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