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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Not Beyond The Laws

It never does take long for an incoming Government to be buffeted by Supermac’s “events”: Tony Blair got his initiation over taking a Bernie, and now Young Dave finds his previously highly regarded chief Treasury Secretary splashed all over the Maily Telegraph due to a rental arrangement which turned out to be with his long term partner.

The moralising part of the Fourth Estate – for which, read the kingdom of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre - will no doubt be in nudge, nudge mode next week (who will wield the hatchet, Jan Moir, Janet Street Expletive Deleted Porter, or Fat Dick Littlejohn?) over David Laws’ admission that he is gay. But Cameron faces a more universal and straightforward dilemma.

Laws has decided to pay back around forty thousand quid, which suggests by implication that he has admitted to wrongdoing. Against his claims is Laws’ presence as the new Government’s chief hatchet man, deciding who should tighten their belt, and who should be thrown overboard. He’s been hot on playing the squeaky clean card when it comes to expenses, but may not have been within the rules after all.

Young Dave has so far, as the Guardian has noted, not blessed Laws with anything like unwavering support. And if the Treasury’s number two continues to attract adverse comment – with the Maily Telegraph giving every appearance of being in scalp taking mode – he will have a simple choice: stick by Laws and risk further revelations, or act quickly and remove him.

There is, after all, a replacement ready to go: Philip Hammond, now at Transport, shadowed the job before the election.

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