Expenses decision due on ex-minister

David Laws, the former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister, will learn this week whether he will be censured for claiming up to £40,000 in expenses to pay rent to his partner.

Mr Laws, who quit as Chief Secretary to the Treasury almost a year ago over the payments, has admitted breaking parliamentary rules by making the claims.

But it is believed the Parliamentary Commissioner, John Lyon, has concluded Mr Laws was motivated by protecting his privacy. The Yeovil MP had never publicly acknowledged his homosexuality.

Mr Lyon also notes that Mr Laws could have cost the taxpayer more if he had followed the rules in place at the time.

The MP's fate now rests with the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee, which will decide whether to rebuke him formally.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have indicated they would like to see Mr Laws back in the Government. Whatever happens, he is unlikely to return to ministerial office before the autumn.