Yeovil MP David Laws returned to the heart of Government yesterday thanking the constituents who had supported him over the past two years.
The Liberal Democrat was Chief Treasury Secretary in David Cameron’s first Cabinet after the 2010 general election, but was forced to resign within weeks over his parliamentary expenses.
Yesterday he came back in from the cold – and with two crucial jobs, at Education and in the Cabinet Office.
He is the new Schools Minister, a crucial role in any government, and also Minister of State in the Cabinet Office, with a wide-ranging brief including co-ordinating and developing policy across all departments.
That involves working closely with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, and also West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office Minister who is the Tory policy chief.
Mr Laws said: “I am very pleased to be given this opportunity to serve the coalition Government and the country in these two roles.
“Education is one of my real passions, and it is an area I know well following my time as Lib Dem Shadow Secretary of State for Schools, between 2007 and 2010. It will also be a real challenge and opportunity to be involved in many policy issues through my role in the Cabinet Office.
“We must not underestimate the difficult times people are going through at the moment and I will work hard to put growth, jobs and fairer taxes at the heart of what we do.
“I shall be doing these jobs alongside my existing responsibilities as MP for Yeovil constituency, and I do not intend to cut back in any way on my constituency work.
“I shall continue to hold my regular, local, advice centres and will be available for any constituent who needs my help. I am immensely grateful to all those constituents who have given me their support and encouragement over the past two and half years. I will do all I can to return that confidence.”
However; Labour will not let the expenses issue go, with the attack led yesterday by Bassetlaw MP John Mann.
He has been calling for Mr Laws to face the electorate before returning to Government – and yesterday claimed Mr Cameron had “lost his moral compass”.