A leaflet has been distributed in Eastleigh over the weekend which claims that The Daily Telegraph has heaped praise on Chris Huhne for his achievements – while a headline on todays Telegraph’s front page accuses the Cabinet Minister of trying to smear his Tory colleagues.
Voters in Newtown who have received copies of MP Chris Huhne’s latest ‘annual report’ were startled to read the following fulsome tribute featured inside :
“Chris Huhne has achieved more in a year than most top politicians manage in a lifetime.”
One bemused local contacted Eastleigh to ask:
“Does our MP really believe that he has achieved more in a year than someone like Winston Churchill?”
The quote appears to have been taken from the online blog of Environmental correspondent Geoffrey Lean who based his assessment on two actions he ascribed to Mr Huhne as Energy Secretary; the government’s pledge to cut carbon emissions to half 1990 levels by 2025 and the establishment of the Green Investment Bank.
(In contrast Churchill’s lifetime achievements include serving twice as Prime Minister , receiving a Nobel prize and winning World War Two.)
Geoffrey Lean’s blog appears on the Daily Telegraph website. Despite the praise, in the same article, the author does not seem to rate Mr Huhne’s chance of political survival highly, describing him as “a man with a sword of Damocles hanging over his head”
“Inevitably, however, Messrs. Cameron and Clegg are having to work out how they will replace him”
Mr Huhne’s report also contains an endorsement from former Tory environment minister John Gummer (now Lord Deben)
“I think Chris Huhne is in many ways the huge unexpected success of this Government”
“He is an extraordinarily good Minister. Government has brought the best out of him”
While Mr Huhne’s leaflet contains praise attributed to the Daily Telegraph, a headline on the front page of today’s issue conveyed a different message:
The story refers to statements Mr Huhne is said to have made regarding Transport Secretary Phil Hammond’s driving record and to allegations that Mr Huhne had tipped off a Guardian journalist about a story Eastleigh News had published highlighting similarities between a speech the Home Secretary had made to party conference and one that Ukip leader Nigel Farage had delivered in Eastleigh as part of a speaking tour.
Eastleigh News 2 August 2011 Top Tory Praises Huhne
Eastleigh News 4 October Farage cat tale snares May
Chris Huhne’s latest Annual report to his constituency on leaflets.org