It was so sad to watch him make what must have been an excruciatingly painful statement in the full glare of the media and I admire his courage in so doing.
Did he need to resign? Probably not. I don't seen I've ever seen a Minister resign when they have such an outpouring of support and understanding for their position and such a sympathetic press. You think of all the Labour Cabinet ministers who stayed put no matter what, serial flipping and incompetence no barrier to their continuing in office.
The exchange of letters between Laws and Cameron, published on Lib Dem Voice, show the incredible impact he'd made on the Government in just a couple of weeks.
Dear prime minister,
The last 24 hours have been very difficult and distressing for me, and I have been thinking carefully about what action I should take in the interests of the government, my constituents and – most important of all – those whom I love.
I am grateful for the strong support which I have received from my friends, family, and from you, the deputy prime minister and the chancellor.
This support has been incredibly important, but nonetheless, I have decided that it is right to tender my resignation as chief secretary to the Treasury.
I have done so for three reasons.
Firstly, I do not see how I can carry on my crucial work on the Budget and Spending Review while I have to deal with the private and public implications of recent revelations.
At this important time the chancellor needs, in my own view, a chief secretary who is not distracted by personal troubles.
I hardly need say how much I regret having to leave such vital work, which I feel all my life has prepared me for.
Secondly, while my recent problems were caused by my desire to keep my sexuality secret, the public is entitled to expect politicians to act with a sense of responsibility.
I cannot now escape the conclusion that what I have done was in some way wrong, even though I did not gain any financial benefit from keeping my relationship secret in this way.
Finally, and most importantly, I have an overriding responsibility to those I love most, and who I feel I have exposed to scrutiny in this way.
I have pursued a political career because of my sense of public duty, but I have too often put this before the interests of those I love most. It is time to redress the balance.
I want to apologise to my constituents for falling below the standards that they are entitled to expect from me.
The job of being a constituency MP is no less important to me than my Cabinet responsibilities.
I shall ensure that I co-operate fully with the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in the review that I have requested.
I intend to consider carefully over the period ahead how I can best serve the interests of my Yeovil constituency, which I care so passionately about.
It has been a great honour to serve however briefly in your Government and I will remain its strong supporter.
David Cameron's response - with my bold added
“Thank you for your letter tendering your resignation from the government, which I accept with sadness.
The last 24 hours must have been extraordinarily difficult and painful for you.
You are a good and honourable man. I am sure that, throughout, you have been motivated by wanting to protect your privacy rather than anything else.
Your decision to resign from the government demonstrates the importance you attach to your integrity.
In your short lime at the Treasury, you have made a real difference, setting the government on the right path to tackle the deficit which poses such a risk to our economy.
I hope that, in time, you will be able to serve again as I think it is absolutely clear that you have a huge amount to offer our country.
I hope that we see David Laws back in Government at some point in the not too distant future.
Compare and contrast the dignity and humanity of Cameron and Laws with the really quite unpleasant behaviour of Labour tweeters yesterday. They were so swift to apray bile around the place and even crack jokes. Even their MPs were getting in on the act. Ben Bradshaw should feel completely ashamed of himself for this effort:
clegg statement re laws nonsense. why should anyone in Britain today feel ashamed to acknowledge they're gay
as if Labour had created this utopia where everyone was free to be themselves. The truth, as I wrote yesterday, can be very different. If anything good comes from what's happened to David Laws, I hope it's greater awareness that coming out can be hard and greater discussion about what we can do to change attitudes. Lynne Featherstone shows an understanding of these issues which is just another reason why it's a good thing that she's Equalities Minister.
In addition to that we had some pretty cutting comments from Tom Harris and David Cairns. There are times when if you can't say anything pleasant, it's best not to say anything at all and their almost gleeful joking does them no credit.
Happily, there are some who showed empathy and decency. See this from Eric Joyce:
Feeling very sorry for David Laws. The rules effectively required him to 'out' himself. Surely that's not right.
It's a sad day for the Government, the country and for David Laws. We'll all recover, but let's hope that it makes us a better, more undersanding society.