Brits split over Laws return

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
May 17, 2011, 9:51 PM GMT+0

British people are split over whether or not it would be appropriate for suspended MP David Laws to return to Government, our poll has found. Slightly more people think that it would never be appropriate, but a very similar percentage believes that Laws should be able to return to the Government, disagreeing only about when exactly this should be possible.

  • 48% of Brits said that it would never be appropriate for the suspended MP to return to Government
  • While 42% in total say that he should be able to return to Government, with 23% saying that a few years should elapse first, compared to 19% who say that Laws has paid for earlier errors and so should be able to return outright

Expenses claims

David Laws MP resigned from the Government soon after last year’s election after allegations surfaced that he had illegally claimed rent payments on expenses, for a room he was hiring from his male partner. Laws has argued that he made the claims in order to keep his sexuality private, and that he hadn’t benefitted financially because if he had registered his partnership, he could have claimed mortgage payments instead.

Laws has since repaid all expense claims, totalling over £50,000, and from 7th June will serve a seven-day suspension from Parliament after House of Commons authorities found that he had broken Parliamentary rules. It has been suggested that Laws could return to Government in future, although our poll suggests that any such appointment may not be especially popular with the British public.

See the survey details and full results