May 21 2013 Latest news:
Monday, February 4, 2013
Former energy secretary Chris Huhne has resigned from Parliament after admitting to perverting the course of justice over claims his ex-wife took speeding points for him.
The Liberal Democrat MP entered the plea on the first day of his trial at Southwark Crown Court.
He subsequently announced he was stepping down as MP for Eastleigh.
The former energy secretary was due to stand trial alongside ex-wife Vicky Pryce on charges that he made her take speeding points on his behalf.
Making a statement outside the court afterwards, he said: “Having taken responsibility for something that happened 10 years ago, the only proper course of action for me is to resign my Eastleigh seat in Parliament, which I will do shortly.”
His former wife Vicky Pryce has denied a charge of perverting the course of justice on the grounds of marital coercion.
Carina Trimingham, whom Huhne admitted having an affair with in 2010, ending his 26-year marriage to Pryce, was in the public gallery as he pleaded guilty.
Huhne, 58, of Dutton Lane, Eastleigh, spoke clearly as he said “guilty” when asked how he pleaded.
The events which led to the charges date back to March 2003 when Huhne’s car was allegedly caught by a speed camera on the motorway between Stansted Airport in Essex and London.
It had been alleged that the former energy secretary, who stood down from the Cabinet after he was charged last year, persuaded economist Pryce, 60, to take the points so he could avoid prosecution.
He had vowed to fight the charges and last week pleaded not guilty.
The allegations emerged in 2011 after Huhne’s 26-year-old marriage to Pryce had ended when he admitted an affair with PR adviser Ms Trimingham.
Granting Huhne unconditional bail until a sentence date to be fixed, Mr Justice Sweeney told him: “I will deal with your sentence on a date to be notified.
“It is essential that you attend, obviously, on that date.
“As (your barrister) has foreshadowed, you should have no illusions whatsoever as to the sort of sentence that you are likely to receive.”
Pryce’s case was adjourned until 10am tomorrow at Southwark Crown Court, when a trial is expected to start. She was granted unconditional bail.