Chris Huhne, MP for Eastleigh, has announced he will stand down from the Cabinet after being charged with perverting the course of justice.
The incident in question is over a speeding points charge. It was alleged that in March and May 2003, Huhne committed speeding offences but lied to the authorities by claiming it was, his now ex-wife, Vicky Pryce who was driving. As a result, it was she who took the penalty points to avoid Huhne having a driving ban.
Essex Police, who have been investigating the case for 8 months, announced today that there is “sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges”. Mr Huhne, a Lib Dem, has pleaded innocent to the charge. However, Huhne has stated that he will resign as energy and climate change secretary to “distraction”. It was believed that he would have been ousted from his post regardless if charges were brought.
His replacement is likely to be Lib Dem’s Ed Davey, Minister for Business. However, many Lib Dems will see it as another bitter blow in coalition, as Huhne is the second Lib Dem to be forced out of the cabinet. Furthermore, his aggressive style has shown he is willing to stand up against the Conservatives.
He will, nonetheless, continue his role as MP for Eastleigh and his constituents.
Both Pryce and Huhne are due to appear in court on 16th February