Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Thursday, 12 May 2011 13:16 UK

Personal statement by David Laws

Lib Dem MP David Laws has apologised to the House of Commons for breaking "a number of important rules" on expenses.

In a personal statement to the House on 12 May 2011, he told MPs: "I take complete and personal responsibility for the mistakes I made, and apologise without reservation to the House and to my constituents."

He said the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner found that "there was a conflict between my personal interest in privacy and the public interest in openness and accountability".

"He concluded that I should have immediately resolved that conflict in the public interest and I agree with that judgement," he added.

Mr Laws referred himself to the Commons standards watchdog following reports he had claimed about £40,000 to pay rent to his partner, the lobbyist James Lundie.

Payments to relations and partners have been against parliamentary rules since 2006.

Mr Laws thanked his constituents for all their support in what he described as a "difficult year", adding: "Each of us should be our own sternest critic and all of us at this place want to see the reputation of this House restored after the last few disastrous years.

"If by my actions I have contributed in any way to further undermine the reputation of this House then I can only apologise without reservation."

The commissioner has recommended a seven-day suspension to begin on 7 June, but MPs will be asked to approve the sanction on 16 May.

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