Chris Huhne, Britain’s energy secretary, has resigned his post after being charged with perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case. His ex-wife Vicky Pryce will also be facing the same charges over allegations that she took penalty points on behalf of her husband.
He says that he is innocent but will resign to “avoid distraction” according to the BBC.
Business Minister Ed Davey will replace him, but those in government hope he returns soon.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said that there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges against both Mr. Huhne and Ms. Pryce.
“The essence of the charges is that between March and May 2003, Mr Huhne, having allegedly committed a speeding offence, falsely informed the investigating authorities that Ms Pryce had been the driver of the vehicle in question, and she falsely accepted that she was the driver,” he said.
Both are due to appear in court on February 16.
In a statement, Huhne said that he was innocent of the charge and intends to fight the charges in court. He said that he resigned to avoid distraction to both his duties as energy secretary and his upcoming trial. He will continue to serve his constituents in Eastleigh though.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that Huhne made the right choice in stepping down.
“I want to thank him for the very good work that he has done in government, both in helping to bring the coalition government together and as secretary of state for energy and climate change,” Cameron said.
Hunhe is entitled to a severance payment of £17,207. A prime minister spokesperson said that it was up to Hunhe in regards to the funds.
Of course, the Twitter reaction has varied from support for Huhne to the snark that Twitter is known and loved for.
Chris Huhne’s wife is to replace John Terry as England Captain – she’s apparently very good at taking penalties
Chris Huhne’s father was director of a firm called Traffic Safety Systems Ltd
BREAKING NEWS: Chris Huhne to be ‘burnt as a witch’. Government will, however, offset the carbon dioxide produced.
Now that he’s resigned, Chris Huhne has had stern words with his ex-wife. Apparently, she’s taken his points on board.
What sort of rational thinking makes someone say “I hope Chris Huhne gets back in Government”