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UK Treasury chief quits over revelations

Sun 30 May 2010 In: International News

David Laws Britain's chief secretary to the Treasury has stepped down after it was revealed he used taxpayer money to pay rent to his male partner. The Times reports David Laws made the decision after a day of agonising about his future. He wrote in his resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron that he does not see how he can carry on his crucial work on the budget and spending review while he has to deal with the private and public implications of the revelations. "I cannot now escape the conclusion that what I have done was in some way wrong, even though I did not gain any financial benefit from keeping my relationship secret in this way," he said. "Most importantly, I have an overriding responsibility to those I love most, and who I feel I have exposed to scrutiny in this way. "I have pursued a political career because of my sense of public duty, but I have too often put this before the interests of those I love most. It is time to redress the balance." The 44-year-old former investment banker had hid his sexuality from his family and friends for his entire adult life. It became public when it was revealed two day ago that he had claimed £40,000 to rent accommodation from his partner of nine years, James Lundie, a breach of rules on expenses. Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg have paid tribute to Laws, saying they hope he will return. Cameron says he is an honourable man, while Clegg says his privacy has now been 'cruelly shattered'. The Times says his departure from one of the most important roles in the government, less than three weeks after his appointment, has plunged the coalition into crisis. Laws has been replaced by Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Scottish secretary.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 30th May 2010 - 11:43am

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