ONE of the stars of the new coalition Government appears to have breached expenses rules, Southampton MP Alan Whitehead has said.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws was last night forced to apologise for claiming parliamentary expenses running into tens of thousands of pounds for renting homes owned by his partner.

Labour MP Alan Whitehead, a member of the standards and privileges committee in the old parliament, said Mr Laws seemed to have breached expenses rules.

The Labour MP for Southampton Test said if serious breaches were found to have taken place Mr Laws' position will be "very difficult".

Mr Laws said he wanted to keep the relationship with the his partner James Lundie private, and not to reveal his own sexuality.

In the past three years leasing from a spouse or partner has been banned by parliamentary rules.

Mr Whitehead said: "Certainly on the facts, in the way the previous rules operated, it's quite clear that David Laws seems to have breached those rules.

"The question I think behind it is the judgement call that he made and indeed a lot of MPs made judgment calls about the previous rules - some of them disastrously bad.”

Mr Laws, one of the Lib Dem's fastest rising politicians, was given a Cabinet post as part of the Con-Lib coalition.

The former investment banker has been tasked with implementing more than £6bn of public sector cuts is one of the