The new British coalition government has suffered its first casualty. Liberal Democrat David Laws has resigned as Chief Secretary to the Treasury after revelations about his expenses.
“I alone have the main responsibility for deciding how to react to recent events,” said Mr Laws.
“I have therefore today spoken today to the prime minister and the Deputy prime minister to inform them of my decision to stand down from my role as chief secretary with immediate effect.”
Laws thanked the Chancellor George Osborne, Prime Minister David Cameron and his long standing friend and colleague Nick Clegg for their support during the “toughest” two days of his life.
The deputy prime minister paid tribute to Laws and indicated that the door would remain open to him to return if and when the issue has been resolved.
“There are clearly questions that David himself acknowledges must now be answered about his own expenses,” said Mr Clegg.
“When these questions have been addressed, I very much hope that there will be an opportunity for him to rejoin government.”
Laws has admitted claiming thousands of pounds over a number of years in parliamentary expenses for rent which he passed on to his long term partner.
He is the latest British politician to fall victim to the expenses scandal, which broke last year.
The Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander has been handed the post.
UK treasury secretary quits over expenses