Chris Huhne in Affair Shock

Carina Trimmingham escorts Chris Huhne into Count at Eastleigh

Eastleigh has been rocked by the news that the towns newly re-elected MP and government front bencher Chris Huhne is to leave his wife of 26 years, the Greek born economist Vicky Pryce for his former campaign press officer Carina Trimmingham.

The News of the World has reported Mr Huhne as saying “I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimmingham and I am separating from my wife.”

This was certainly a surprise to me.

I had spent a month on the election campaign trailing around after Mr Huhne and Ms Trimmingham (as well as the other candidates) reporting for this site and for Politics.co uk.

I had seen them together at several hustings and spent a morning accompanying them as they canvassed the Nightingale Estate – an outing which Carina had arranged for me. Read report

Although it was clear that Carina was effectively running Chris’s campaign on the ground and was never more than a few paces from his side, at no time did I see any suggestion that their relationship was anything other than a professional one.

Carina Trimmingham struck me as a capable and efficient organiser and a PR career woman one who was more than able to keep up with Chris Huhne’s punishing schedule – he is extraordinarily hard campaigner and its probably quite fitting he became ‘energy’ minister

With hindsight we are always the wiser and looking back it’s possible to convince oneself there were signs that feelings may have run deeper.

It was at the last hustings at a local college that I noticed a change in Carina’s expression as Tory candidate Maria Hutchings –a feisty and outspoken opponent – launched a spirited attack ion Chris Huhne and Lib Dem policies in general.

I noticed Miss Trimmingham’s jaw drop and her face contort with what seemed like pain as she shook her head while Ms Hutchings hit her stride – I didn’t feel this was just in disagreement at what was being said – it seemed to me that she was genuinely upset for Mr Huhne.

I recall thinking at the time that perhaps not all pro hacks were as single minded and as hard hearted as one is lead to believe.

Just how this will play out in the press and with the public is unclear although Eastleigh News has already received emails from constituents – admittedly Conservative supporters – calling for his resignation from the cabinet and even as an MP.

The Lib Con cabinet has already had one high profile resignation in David Laws.

That case however, concerned the use of public funds.

Separation is not the matter it once was and it is likely that Mr Huhne will survive this unscathed while his Liberal Democrats supporters here in Eastleigh will rally round.

But there is already discontent amongst the Labour voters in Eastleigh who were persuaded to vote Liberal Democrat in the expectation that should the election result in a hung parliament – then the Liberal Democrats would look to form a coalition with the Labour Party.

Their continued support in any future election cannot be taken for granted.

Another sizeable contingent of voters in the borough are the fundamentalist evangelical Christians.

smile Chris Huhne family photos

"Family matters to me so much. Where would we be without them?" Chris Huhne just a few weeks ago - click to enlarge

The most well attended hustings of the campaign was organised by St Thomas’s Church when all the candidates were anxious to display their moral standing and Christian beliefs. Read report

Speaking to the congregation afterwards many emphasised how important politics which reflected Christian family values were to them.

It’s hard to see how news of an affair will go down well here.

Adultery being after all, one of the things God says thou shalt not commit.

However the government have made it quite clear they intend to stay for the long term and this affair may well have been forgotten by the time the next election comes round.

Are you upset or feeling let down by Chris Huhne? Will this affect the way you might vote in future? Do you feel the distractions of his marital difficulties might interfere with his ministerial capabilities? Or do you take the view that everyone is entitled to a private life and that Chris Huhne is more than able to separate his private life from his public duties?

Tell us what you think!

  7 comments for “Chris Huhne in Affair Shock

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    June 20, 2010 at 1:19 am

    My marriage broke down when I left my first wife *gasp* for a colleague.
    Lots of couples separate,divorce,remarry.
    Lots of them are either voters or know of other voters who have separated etc.
    Even the conservative candidate for eastleigh I believe, divorced and remarried.
    So, while I feel sorry for the spurned wife I am inclined to say ‘good luck to them’ even though I am less than happy with the formation of the Lib dem coalition.

  2. Graham Hunter
    June 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Oh so it seems the Whiter than White Mr Huhne is not sure pure as the driven snow after all… not that we did not know that.
    He canvassed as the ideal family man… not!
    When all the time he was playing away from home and cheating on his wife and family. At least one thing is real clear, he was not living in Eastleigh (a question he was always keen not to answer) but instead with his misteress.
    Perhaps he should resign.

  3. peter stewart
    June 20, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Chris Huhne’s relationship with Carina Trimingham will temporarily complicate his plans. But only temporarily, for as Harold Wilson observed, “A week is a long time in politics”. Rest assured Eastleigh will quickly forgive and forget Chris Huhne’s extra-marital relationship just as Winchester did with Mark Oaten!

    Of course the whole business is a delight to the unfortunate Conservative MP for Romsey Caroline Nokes, who endured heavy criticism from her LibDem predecessor for queue-jumping a ride on board the honourable train to Westminster, by virtue of a bogus “family” ticket while all the time, behind the scenes, having an affair with a young Tory activist (for 4 years).

    As this Father’s Day unfolds, Ms Nokes must surely be muttering quiet and prolonged prayers of thanks that on the 2nd July, 1954, a boy child named Christopher Murray Paul Huhne was born. Now she no longer needs to wriggle on the LibDem hook quite as much unless it is really true that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, in which case Sandra Gidley may well continue her attack from a slightly different angle, namely that Caroline Nokes perhaps tried to brush her entire affair under the carpet for the sake of political expediency whereas as soon as Chris Huhne’s affair was discovered, at least he did the “honourable thing” and announced he was leaving his wife for the woman he loved.

    FOR A TWIST ON THIS SEE “BLOGS”

  4. Andy Lombardi
    June 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I’ll probably forget his extra curricular activities long before I forget how Mr Huhne threw the supportive votes of unhappy Labour voters back in their faces.

    It’s the hypocrisy of it all that is galling. Canvassing as a family man, which we all want in honesty, only to be hiding the fact that his marriage was on the rocks. That happens to many nowadays but why couldn’t he just be open about it?

    Oh! He had some of us Labourites on the ‘together we’ll beat the Tories’ hook.

    Don’t darken my door anymore Mr Huhne, or your compatriots at local level.

  5. Peter Jones
    June 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Are people actually naive enough in believing that politicians really care about their constituents……….…..

  6. Andy Lombardi
    June 21, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Are people actually naive enough in believing that politicians really care about their constituents……….…..  

    Until this particular one seemed not only happy to climb into bed with someone who isn’t his wife but also a political party I totally distrust. Even more than the Labour party who gloriously failed us!

  7. Alfie
    June 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Well it dosent make any difference to me but my wife said he’s gone from ‘hero to zero’

    She voted for him last time but is adamant she won’t do it again.

    Solidarity among wives

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