CPS denies dropping Huhne perversion of justice charges
Another little mystery in the long saga of Chris Huhne and that speeding ticket
THE CROWN Prosecution Service has stepped in to say that the criminal case against Chris Huhne, former Lib Dem Energy Secretary, is continuing – despite a report in the Mail On Sunday suggesting the perversion of justice charges might have been dropped.
The Mail, which has since "pulled" the story online, reported that Laurence Brass, an asylum judge and former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, had bumped into Huhne in Westminster and tweeted afterwards: "Breaking news. Met ex-Energy Sec Chris Huhne in Commons, who confirmed that prosecution against him will be dropped next month."
Within an hour, apparently after frantic calls from the Whips Office, Brass had deleted the tweet – but not before Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting.com had reported that odds on Huhne becoming the next Lib Dem leader were now 12/1(on the reasonable assumption that Nick Clegg will be toast by the time of the next general election, if not before).
Huhne became the first cabinet minister in living memory to resign over criminal charges after being charged with perverting the course of justice. It was alleged that he persuaded his then-wife, Vicky Pryce, to take his penalty points for a speeding offence in 2003.
Huhne, who has always denied the allegation, was originally due to face trial at Southwark Crown Court in October but the hearing was adjourned to next month.
A friend of 65-year-old Brass is reported to have said about the short-lived tweet: "It was a private conversation which should never have found its way into the public domain. He removed the message as soon as he realised his mistake."
It’s been a messy affair all along. Huhne’s 26-year marriage ended after he revealed he was in a relationship with his aide and press officer, Carina Trimingham.