David Laws

Nick Leaton made this Freedom of Information request to House of Commons

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear House of Commons,

In you previous reply to an FOI request, you gave the amount of money repaid by David Laws at £56,592.

I cannot see a break down in the report as to when the money was paid out, and how much in each case, and the date(s) of repayment of the money.

The house of commons code of conduct is quite clear.

“Members must ensure that claims do not give rise to, or give the appearance of giving rise to, an improper personal financial benefit to themselves or anyone else”.

In the case of David Laws, the taxpayer has had to fund his over claims by borrowing money, and David Laws has obtained a valuable financial benefit by not paying any interest on his excessive claims.

The information I've requested above is required in order to quantify the financial advantage David Laws has obtained by not repaying any interest.

Yours faithfully,

Nick Leaton

FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

Dear Mr Leaton

Thank you for your request for information dated 22 May 2011, received by us on 23 May 2011.

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case within 20 working days i.e. on or before 21 June 2011.

We understand this request to mean that you want to know when Mr Laws received the money and when he paid it back.

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number quoted at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely

Jenny Wormleighton | IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | Department of HR and Change
| House of Commons

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FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

Dear Mr Leaton,

Thank you for your request for information which is copied below

Mr Laws repaid the sum as follows:
£56,481.00 – 22nd June 2010
£111.00 – 11th July 2010

The total repaid equated to the full amount of all claims submitted by Mr Laws in respect of his second home between July 2006 and July 2009. This is further described in the Standards and Privileges Committee report, e.g.,: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa....

Scanned images of claims submitted during this period can be found at:
http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslo...

You may, if dissatisfied with the treatment of your request, ask the House of Commons to conduct an internal review of this decision. Requests for internal review should be addressed to: Freedom of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, House of Commons London SW1A OAA or [House of Commons request email] . Please ensure that you specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you wish to make.

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely

Bob Castle
Head of Information Rights and Information Security
House of Commons

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Dear Mr Castle,

I think you have misinterpreted my request. Whilst the dates on which he repaid the money is interesting, I requested the dates and amount when the commons paid Mr Laws the money in the first place. The other side of the coin so to speak.

If we take one example

http://mpsallowances.parliament.uk/mpslo...

This contains just the amount that he was claiming, not when the money was actually paid by the commons.

The reason it matters is that I wish to make a formal complaint about David Laws for continuing to break the MPs code of conduct. MPs are not allowed to give the appearance of a personal benefit. What is in effect an interest free loan is a very valuable personal benefit at the tax payer's expenses. We after all had to borrow the money to pay his unjustified claims.

To quantify that loss to the public, I need to know when the commons handed over the money to David Laws. It isn't in the PDF of his claim.

Please treat this as a request for a review.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Leaton

FOICOMMONS, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Leaton,

Please find attached our response to your internal review request. I notice that we have not formally acknowledged your internal review request and I apologise for this oversight.

Yours sincerely

Katarina Ndrepepaj | Freedom of Information Coordinator
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service
House of Commons

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Dear Katarina ,

Thank you. That is the information I was after.

Appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Leaton