Happy birthday to David Laws, Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil 2001-15

Laws’ early career was in investment banking, becoming Vice President of JP Morgan. He left in 1994 to take up the role of Economic Adviser to the Liberal Democrats. From 1997-99 he was the Liberal Democrat’s Director of Policy and Research, during which time he played a leading advisory role in the negotiations which lead to the joint agreement with the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament following the 1999 elections. In the 1997 election, Laws contested Folkestone and Hythe. When Paddy Ashdown announced his intention to leave parliament, Laws was selected to succeed him as MP for Yeovil and he was elected to Parliament in 2001. In 2004 Laws co-edited The Orange Book, many of whose contributors served in the coalition government. Following the 2010 election, Laws was one of the main negotiators involved in the formation of the Liberal Democrat/Conservative Government. He entered the cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury but allegations of misuse of expenses led to Laws’ resignation after less than three weeks in office. He returned to government in September 2012 as Minister of State for Schools and Minister of State at the Cabinet Office with a right to attend cabinet. Laws lost his seat at the 2015 election. David Laws has published several books on the coalition including 22 Days in May on the events leading to the formation of the government and Coalition a recently published chronicle of his time in government.