David Laws may be a great political talent, may be a decent man and may have had his sex life unfairly revealed to the world. Guido doesn’t dispute his merits. Nevertheless, none of this trumps the fact that he took taxpayers’ money to pay his boyfriend’s rent on the quiet.
We should be harder on the misdameanours of politicians than we are on welfare benefits fraudsters, instead time after time they get told to apologise and not do it again or to just pay the ill-gotten gains back and carry on as if nothing had happened. If you opt for public life you lose some rights to privacy, if you take taxpayers’ money from the public we have an absolute right to know how it is spent down to every last penny. Because legislators make the law it is surely right that we demand the highest standards from them, law-makers can’t be law breakers. If you don’t think you can merit the public’s trust beyond reproach, maybe public service isn’t for you.