David Laws' resignation gives him the time and space to recover and regroup. The coalition government has no such luxury.
It must continue, weakened by scandal and undermined by the loss of a key uniting figure, even as Laws rebuilds his shattered private life.
This is not a resignation like many others.
Under the New Labour government there was a tendency for ministers, having committed outrageous errors and been forced out of office, to return to the fold with a rapidity and smoothness which enraged critics. Laws' resignation is not like that. He had to go but he has to come back, too.
Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg understand this. The deputy prime minister wanted him to stay on, getting through the attacks to continue his vital work in the Treasury. The PM, more pragmatic but equally desirous of Laws' contribution, simply said: "I hope that, in time, you will be able to serve again."
Laws' political capital had rocketed in his brief spell in power. The successRead More »from Laws will recover, but will the coalition?