|Lib Dem Chris Huhne supporting the Boys in Blue|
While sorry that a talented person has been brought down by his own hubris it is strange that former Liberal Democrat Climate Minister Chris Huhne who has been telling us he is innocent for months now pleads guilty! It's as bad as all those very innocent people who have been extradited to the US and as soon as they arrive there suddenly realise they are in fact guilty! Huhne’s now inevitable resignation as an MP convicted of a criminal offence means there will be a by-election in Eastleigh? Can I stand for the anti-speeding party?
The dramatic move came on the day he was due to stand trial before a jury with his ex-wife Vicky Pryce. Mr Justice Sweeney warned the disgraced Liberal Democrat MP that prison was a very real danger when he returns to court to be sentenced. The charge dates back to 2003 when Huhne’s car was caught speeding on the M25 near Stansted airport. At that time Huhne was an MEP and had just flown back to the UK from Strasbourg. He would have faced a driving ban because he had already accrued nine penalty points on his driving licence and three extra points would have put him over the threshold.
|Got away with that one!|
We should remember this is the first Cabinet Minister ever to resign on criminal charges but he still kept his seat (and salary & expenses) as MP for Eastleigh while "strongly protesting his innocence" in numerous interviews. He has now told a court he is as guilty as hell in the face of evidence. The trial has in fact been going on since the 14th January and has been subject to reporting restrictions aka "gagging order."
Huhne's Counsel spent 3 days arguing the trial should not go ahead on legal grounds and Huhne only changed his plea when he had to. His former wife Vicky Pryce is pleading not guilty on the grounds of marital coercion. Ms. Pryce is a 60 year old economist and political advisor who has always had an independent career. If 1,300 postal votes had not been delayed in the LibDem leadership election it would have been the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy PM pleading guilty in court today?
I was excited to see on Chris Huhne’s website he is standing with
the Bs. Makes complete sense to me!
Let us recall exactly what Chris Huhne said as reported on the 3rd February 2012 when the Director of Public Prosecutions announced charges were being brought;
The Guardian 3 February 2012
Chris Huhne resigns as energy secretary after the director of public prosecutions announces he will face a criminal charge in connection with allegedly dodging a speeding offence. In a statement he says:
“The Crown Prosecution Service’s decision today is deeply regrettable. I’m innocent of these charges and I intend to fight this in the courts and I’m confident that a jury will agree.
So as to avoid any distraction to either my official duties or my trial defence, I am standing down and resigning as energy and climate change secretary. I will of course continue to serve my constituents in Eastleigh.”
|Not so lucky this time|
The Tories won Eastleigh in 1992 with 17,000 majority. What happened after that is symbolic of electoral decline of Tories and the strange rise of the Lib Dems. Huhne won Eastleigh 2010 with an increased majority: LDs 25,000, Tories 21,000, Lab 5,000, UKIP 2,000. In 2005, Huhne’s majority was only 568.
As is so often the case in politics it is not the original deed but the cover up which causes the downfall. Huhne’s resignation now means a nightmare by-election test for Nick Clegg in marginal Eastleigh. Already the toxically divided Tories are saying if David Cameron can't win Eastleigh he can't win the General Election in 2015?