Huhne to resign after guilty plea

huhne bike

Huhne on Bike photo: DECC

Chris Huhne has sensationally announced he is to resign as Eastleigh’s MP after pleading guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice which he faces alongside his former wife Vicky Pryce.

This means there will now be a by-election in Eastleigh to elect a new Member of Parliament.

The Lib Dem – a former Cabinet Secretary – was once a contender for the Liberal Democrat leadership and one of the architects of the current Lib Dem/Conservative Coalition government.

Lib Dem Party Leader Nick Clegg had only recently described him as one of the parties ‘big beasts’.

The allegations that his ex-wife had taken speeding points on his behalf first emerged in 2011 and Mr Huhne had always strongly protested his innocence.

He pleaded ‘not guilty’ last week but this morning changed his plea.

Soon after he made a short statement to the press from the steps of Southwark Crown Court saying that he had pleaded guilty to offences which had occurred 10 years ago and would be resigning as MP for Eastleigh.

The trial of Vicky Pryce, who is pleading not guilty on the grounds of marital coercion, is ongoing and still subject to reporting restrictions.

Previous politicians  who have been found guilty of perverting the course of justice include Johnathan Aitken who got 18 months – and served seven – and Lord Archer who got four years and only served two but both had also been found guilty of perjury along with the perversion charges.

The Judge has granted the defendants bail, warning Mr Huhne he should be under ‘no illusion’ as to the kind of sentence he could expect.

 

A happy Chris Huhne on Town Bandstand last month

A happy Chris Huhne on Town Bandstand in November

There is speculation that Ukip’s high profile party leader Nigel Farage may contest the seat – according to the BBC he is said to be mulling it over.

Eastleigh Ukip have refused to comment and are directing all enquires to their central office.

Mr Farage previously contested Eastleigh during the 1994 by-election and refused to rule it out when asked by Eastleigh News last year following a public meeting at the town’s Railway Institute.

Mr Huhne is a wealthy man with several properties although may seem his political career is over for the time being he has had previous successful career in economics, finance and journalism.

crescent chris huhne

Eastleigh’s disappearing Lib Dems. Two councillors and an MP – all resigned.

The development comes at a bad time for the local Lib Dem party who defending seats in May’s County Council elections.

Mr Huhne’s last major public appearance in the constituency was in November when he took part in a parade through the Town before switching on the Christmas lights.

Little did we realise as he waved at us from the bandstand it was to bid us a farewell.


 

  6 comments for “Huhne to resign after guilty plea

Comments are closed.