WHO IS DAVID LAWS?
David Laws was a high-flying investment banker with JP Morgan and Barclays who gave up six-figure bonuses for a backroom research job with the Liberal Democrats. Born into a banking family, Laws was educated at St George’s College, Weybridge and Kings College, Cambridge. He was elected as MP for Yeovil in 2001 after Paddy Ashdown stepped down. Laws co-edited the ‘Orange Book’, which was instrumental in politically re-orientating the Lib Dems and shedding high tax-and-spending traditions for a more economically liberal platform. His right-leaning instincts have prompted several invitations to join the Conservatives, all which have been politely, but firmly spurned.(Similar to Clegg in this respect). Laws earned his spurs leading delicate negotiations resulting in the early coalition north of the border with the SNP. Widely seen to have won the TES pre-election education debate, he is anti-state interference in education, wants powers devolved to schools, to ensure that all schools have Academy freedoms but also sees local authorities as important for the accountability framework. (differs from Tories on LA role)He believes that some education quangos can be cut back-and feels that most are unaccountable. An economic and social liberal, but fiscal conservative, Laws is an advocate of more competition and choice in public services . He shares Michael Goves view that the Government has largely failed the most disadvantaged pupils and he wants a pupil premium which will be part of the new coalitions education programme. Also keen to reduce class sizes and to abolish, over time, tuition fees. He was a key member of the Liberal Democrats negotiating team forging a new coalition with the Tories. He has a cabinet role in the coalition Government as First Secretary to the Treasury. Michael Gove has been one of the most impressive performers in Cameron’s shadow cabinet and would like to see his free schools reforms through , so although it was initially rumoured that Laws would get Education, it has just been confirmed that Gove is the new Education Secretary.