When something is leaked it's usually a good idea to seek to understand the leaker's motivation. So when we heard that the David Laws report was being leaked left right and centre, I immediately thought: "Who's done that and why?" It seems clear to me that a member of the Standards & Privileges Committee is most likely to be the guilty party, and they did it to cause maximum damage to David Laws. Why? Because they want to prevent him being brought back into government. So, who was it? These are the members of the Standards & Privileges Committee...
Rt hon Kevin Barron MP (Chair) Labour
Sir Paul Beresford MP Conservative
Tom Blenkinsop MP Labour
Annette Brooke MP Liberal Democrat
Rt hon Tom Clarke MP Labour
Mr Geoffrey Cox MP Conservative
Matthew Hancock MP Conservative
Mr Oliver Heald MP Conservative
Heather Wheeler MP Conservative
Dr Alan Whitehead MP Labour
This is not the first time members of this committee have behaved in a disgraceful way, and I have no doubt it won't be the last. But what does it say about a committee which is supposed to oversee standards in Parliament, that certain members of it can't resist leaking and giving out privileged information? If they are the people who uphold the rules of the House of Commons but can't obey the rules themselves, what faith can we have in them?
From the reporting, it is also clear that the leaker only leaked the most damaging passages to David Laws. So I suggest we all wait for the final report tomorrow before we rush to judgement.