LDVideo: David Laws special edition

by Stephen Tall on May 28, 2010

Suddenly the British political chatterati are catching up with a fact that’s been known by Lib Dems for years: David Laws is a deeply impressive politician.

David’s pivotal role in the Lib Dem negotiating team, combined with his unshowy economic and intellectual self-confidence, has quickly marked him out as an early star of the cabinet, earning an excellent profile in today’s Guardian by Allegra Stratton. It’s well worth reading in full, but here’s a fascinating snippet:

Laws is one of Ashdown’s friends from “the winter days, not the summer days”. He joined the party at the same time as Nick Clegg and Jeremy Browne under Ashdown’s leadership, when the Tory party was illiberal and even more Eurosceptic than most. Laws has told Tory colleagues recently that he would have been one of them were it not for their party’s policy on section 28, the controversial law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools. Evan Harris, one of Laws’s former colleagues before he lost his seat at the last election, agrees. He said: “Compared to Vince [Cable] he is fully socially liberal on equality, abortion and faith schools and on religion and the state. Also he’s very sensible on the discrimination issues and sex education. Whereas someone like Vince is more of a social conservative, he’s not at all. He’s probably much more pro-choice than Vince.”

Some Conservatives (indeed, a handful of Lib Dems) appear still to harbour the misapprehension that he’s actually one of them: but just because he can add up doesn’t make him a Tory. However, there’s no doubt the glances of envy in the Lib Dems’ direction that it’s our party which has provided the biggest economic talents sitting at the cabinet table: ConservativeHome admires his talent for culling pot-plant expenditure, while Iain Martin whispers “the words ‘potential future prime minister’ don’t sound entirely silly.”

You can watch David in action in three videos, below …

First up, is his virtuoso performance in the Commons this week which has grabbed the sketchwriters’ headlines:


(Hat-tip: Pretendy Liberal)

Then here’s a clip from BBC Question Time showing David Laws squashing a sheepish-looking Michael Heseltine:


(Also on YouTube here.)

And finally here’s David Laws’ speech to the party conference in 2008, setting out his views on what a liberal education system should look like, which received a warm standing ovation from party members:


(Also available on YouTube here.)