WATCH: Nick Clegg: My admiration for David Laws has only grown in last 24 hours
The Sunday newspapers digest David Laws' resignation
"To safeguard the “new politics”, the PM had to sacrifice the very man who was its most impressive incarnation." – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
The Observer concludes Laws was right to go: "Mr Laws's job also demanded that he axe services and impose severe financial constraints on public sector workers. He could not, given the revelations about his expenses, credibly fulfil the function of an ambassador of austerity, as he honourably recognised in his statement last night. He is right to resign. His personal position deserves much sympathy, but his cabinet position was untenable."
As does The Sunday Times: "Mr Laws thought he could head off demands for his resignation by agreeing to pay back more than £40,000 that he claimed in rent paid to his gay companion and referring himself to the parliamentary standards commissioner. It was never going to be enough. His decision to pay back the money was an admission of guilt. His statement, that he was driven by a desire to protect his privacy and sexuality, may have elicited some sympathy but has no obvious bearing on why he chose to claim the expenses."
"The Prime Minister’s already hinting that this shy, tormented and
gifted Liberal Democrat may yet make a political comeback. I hope so. A
second chance for David Laws is in the public interest." – Paul Goodman in The Sunday Express
> Tim Montgomerie's "Immediate Reactions"
Coalition cabinet's rising star was too terrified to admit he was gay – Independent on Sunday
"In the end, the whole sorry farrago comes down to this: Did David Laws defraud the taxpayer or did he intend to? The answer to both questions is no. But in the end, for his personal reasons, he could not tough it out and decided to quit." – Iain Dale in the Mail on Sunday
Is Danny Alexander up to the job of replacing him?
"Mr Alexander led the Lib Dem team drawing up their election manifesto. He has held a string of frontbench jobs, including work and pensions." – News of the World
"The extraordinary journey of Danny Alexander from a regional Press officer to Chief Secretary to the Treasury completes one of the most meteoric rises in modern politics. But it also sparked intense speculation over whether a man who only five years ago was head of communications for the Cairngorms National Park was up to replacing David Laws in such a crucial Cabinet post." – Mail on Sunday
Michael Moore is new Scottish Secretary
"Moore has experience of dealing with coalition government, having been an adviser to Jim Wallace, the former Scottish Lib Dem leader, when he was negotiating his party's first partnership administration with Donald Dewar's Labour Party in 1999. An Edinburgh University graduate, Moore was elected to parliament in 1997 and during Menzies Campbell's tenure as leader was foreign affairs spokesman. In parliament, he has also been the party's UK transport spokesman and a member of the Commons Scottish affairs select committee." – Scotland on Sunday
The Tories aim to go into next year's Holyrood elections promising to make Scotland the lowest taxed part of the UK, Scotland on Sunday has learned – Scotland on Sunday
The Scottish Tory Chairman is ready to launch root-and-branch reform inquiry – Sunday Herald
Sunday Herald leader: "To be credible, it must consider far greater autonomy for the Scottish party, with freedom to criticise the leadership in London if it is seen to be acting against Scottish interests. It should look at a new name, perhaps dropping Unionist from the current mouthful of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. There should also be a single, over-arching leader and policies designed for Scotland, rather than parroted from the UK script. Whatever the redesign, it is not a party that Annabel Goldie deserves to inherit. When John Swinney was leader of the SNP, he lasted four years before a third poor election result forced him to quit. Goldie has now been the face of three rotten results in five years, yet she cheerfully soldiers on, straight for the enemy guns."
> ConservativeHome's General Election Review recommended CDU/CSU status for the Scottish Party
The Tory Co-Treasurer joins warnings against Coalition plans for higher CGT
David Cameron's plans to increase capital gains tax received a fresh blow this weekend after the Conservative Party co-treasurer, Stanley Fink, warned that the plans risked an exodus of wealth and talent from Britain – The Sunday Telegraph
Capital gains tax rises would punish the productive – David Green in The Sunday Telegraph
The Sunday Times reports that George Osborne will offer concessions to CGT rebels.
James Forsyth: Cameron is improving relationship with his MPs
"There are encouraging signs, though, that Cameron has understood
that he needs to handle his party differently now that he is in
coalition. He called Brady on Thursday night to congratulate him and,
I’m informed, the two men exchanged warm words. On Thursday, he
toured the tea room – something he did very rarely in the last
Parliament – talking to his MPs about their concerns over the plan to
increase capital gains tax. He also had a constructive conversation
with John Redwood, one of the leading critics of the plan. In many
cases, just explaining what and why the Government is doing things will
be enough for Cameron to win round his MPs." – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
Inland Revenue blocked peerage for top Tory donor, Bamford of JCB – Sunday Times
"Lord Laidlaw, one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors, has forfeited his seat in the House of Lords because he does not want to give up his non-dom tax status." – The Sunday Times
The Independent on Sunday issues a warning to 'the Conservative right'
"The right-wing of the Conservative party needs to recognise two things. First, that the general election showed there was no mandate for a radical right-wing Conservative government. Second, the coalition is regarded as legitimate in the country." – Independent on Sunday leader
The Coalition has vetoed a £240,000-a-year pay offer to attract a new boss for spending watchdog the Audit Commission – Sunday Express
Cameron puts Defence high on the Cabinet pecking order – Mail on Sunday
Cameron must keep his promise on the Human Rights Act – Jimmy Young in the Sunday Express
Douglas Carswell and Brian Binley call for fewer holidays for civil servants – Mail on Sunday
Labour is the natural party of opposition – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
Why I believe David Miliband should lead Labour – Ben Bradshaw in The Observer
Christopher Booker: Chris Huhne is a "woolly-minded" minister who will close down our economy – The Sunday Telegraph
And finally… Theresa May's Thunderbirds look
"Did somebody call International Rescue? Since becoming Home Secretary, Theresa May just can’t stop wearing a favourite jacket that makes her look like something out of Thunder birds. The Minister clearly loves the pale blue tunic-style jacket with a strange neckline that makes her resemble the cult Sixties puppets – or, at its dressiest, their London agent Lady Penelope. Mrs May has worn it at every key event of the past fortnight." – Mail on Sunday
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