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Gay British Pol Resigns Amid Tax Scandal

Gay British Pol Resigns Amid Tax Scandal


David Laws, a widely admired cabinet minister who took on the position of chief secretary to the treasury just three weeks ago, has announced his resignation after an article in Saturday's Daily Telegraph said he'd claimed reimbursement for more than $60,000 in rent and other household expenses.

Laws had been claiming the expenses after taking on a "second bedroom" in the London home of his long-term partner, James Lundie.

Voters replaced more than a third of the members of the House of Commons in the election in early May, with connections to Britain's "expense claims" scandal contributing to the losses. Laws was the lead negotiator for the Liberal Democrats that formed a governing coalition with the Conservatives amid that scandal.

Laws had been popular right off the bat, working with Prime Minister David Cameron to find budget cuts in an effort to stabilize Britain's economy. He said in a statement Monday that he intends to pay back all of the money he claimed for reimbursement. Laws said he thought he was covered under the new reimbursement rules because they define a 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."

Laws also said he'd been secretive about his relationship with Lundie because he did not wish to publicly come out.

"James and I are intensely private people," he said. "We made the decision to keep our relationship private and believed that was our right. Clearly, that cannot now remain the case. My motivation throughout has not been to maximize profit, but to simply protect our privacy and my wish not to reveal my sexuality".

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