Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Huhne charges 'would be serious'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned that it would be a "very serious issue" if Energy Secretary Chris Huhne was charged over speeding case allegations.

Mr Clegg said he and David Cameron would have to "take a view" if the Crown Prosecution Service decided to press charges over claims his Liberal Democrat colleague persuaded his then wife to take speeding points.

He said that they were determined to uphold the "highest standards of probity" among ministers.

"Of course, that is a very serious issue if that were to arise," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.

"The Cabinet Secretary who is the arbiter of these things can provide advice and the Prime Minister and myself and others would need to take a view.

"But we as a Government want the highest standards of probity to be in place in everything that is done by Cabinet members."

The way was cleared for a swift ruling after the publishers of the Sunday Times dropped a High Court challenge to a court order requiring emails relating to the allegations to be produced to Essex Police.

A CPS spokesman said that as soon as they received the evidence they would consider it carefully and would reach "a decision as soon as possible".

Police began investigations following claims by Mr Huhne's former wife, Vicky Pryce, in a Sunday Times interview that he had asked "someone" to take speeding points on his behalf in 2003 to avoid losing his licence.

It later emerged the "someone" was allegedly Mrs Pryce.


From Belfast Telegraph