Expose ends new UK government's honeymoon

Laws, the number two in the Treasury after Chancellor George Osborne, is a key figure in the government’s economic policies, particularly in its plans to reduce Britain’s mounting budget deficit.

Laws apologised after the revelations were published in the media and said he would immediately pay back about £40,000 that he had wrongfully claimed between 2004 and 2007 in properties owned by his partner, James Lundie.

Since 2006, parliamentary rules have banned MPs from “leasing accommodation from a partner”. He said his motivation was to keep the relationship with the man private and not to reveal his own sexuality.

Laws said: “At no point did I consider myself to be in breach of the rules which in 2009 defined partner as ‘one of a couple… who although not married to each other or civil partners are living together and treat each other as spouses’.
“Although we were living together we did not treat each other as spouses. For example we do not share bank accounts and indeed have separate social lives. However, I now accept that this was open to interpretation and will immediately pay back the costs of the rent I claimed from the time the rules changed.”

“My motivation throughout has not been to maximise profit but to simply protect our privacy and my wish not to reveal my sexuality,” he added.

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