Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne resigned this morning from his role as Energy Secretary after being charged alongside his ex-wife Vicky Pryce with perverting the course of justice over speeding cover-up allegations. Mr Huhne and Miss Pryce have both been charged with the same offence after Miss Pryce allgeged that he asked her to take speeding points on his behalf. They will appear before Westminster Magistrates Court on February 16th.
The pair now face the prospect of a criminal trial over allegations that they conspired to pervert the course of justice. The offence carries a maximum life sentence.
This morning, soon after the charges were announced by the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS), Mr Huhne resigned his Cabinet position. He told the press after his announcement: “I am innocent of these charges and I intend to fight them in the courts and I am confident a jury will agree. So as to avoid any distratction to my official duties or my trial defence, I am standing down as Energy and Climate Change Secretary. I will of course continue to serve my constituents in Eastleigh. That is all I have to say.” If found guilty and given a jail sentence Mr. Huhne will have to reliquish his Parliamentary seat.
The alleged offence is said to have taken place in March 2003 and is unlikely to have ever come to the attention of the police had Miss Pryce, who separated from Mr Huhne in 2010, not made allegations in a Sunday newspaper last year.
She told the Sunday Times that Mr Huhne had asked someone close to him to take the points so he could avoid a driving ban. It later emerged she was apparently referring to herself.
While Huhne continues to protest his innocence no date will be set for the by election in his consituency. Boggart Blog sympathises with the former ministers perdicament even though we have pilloried him mercilessly for his zealot’s belief in the efficacy of wind turbinesand his determination to plant a forest of these monstrosities on every beautiful upland landscape in Britain. To show we have no hard feelings towards him we have sent Mr. Huhne a copy of Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad Of Reading Gaol“