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article imageMP Chris Huhne and ex-wife charged over 2003 speeding offence

By Elaine Findlay     Feb 3, 2012 in Politics
Eastleigh - Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne resigns after the Director of Public Prosecutions announces the MP and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce have both been summoned to appear in court on charges of perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding offence.
It was just under nine years ago, when he was a Member of the European Parliament, that the car belonging to Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and MP for the constituency of Eastleigh in Hampshire, UK was detected driving too fast along the M11 motorway in Essex by a speed camera.
The fixed penalty notice that automatically followed was addressed to Huhne himself. However, he responded by saying that it was in fact his then-wife, the Greek-born economist Vicky Pryce, who was driving the car at the time of the offence. Pryce agreed with his statement and the three penalty points were added to her licence rather than his, meaning he escaped an automatic driving ban due to the number of points he had already accrued.
Unfortunately for Huhne, it seems that hell really does have no fury like a woman scorned because it was just under nine months ago, not long after he left his wife of 25 years for the bisexual Carina Trimingham that Pryce approached the Sunday Times newspaper and told them, according to Sky news of January 20, 2012, that her husband had
asked "someone" to take speeding points so he could avoid a ban.
It was this disclosure that led to a police investigation into the allegations and prompted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer, on February 3, 2012, to call a Press Conference, broadcast live on BBC Radio Solent, where he told the assembled media that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS):
...is making this statement in the interests of accountability and transparency. A criminal complaint was made to Essex Police in 2011 alleging that Miss Pryce had accepted responsibility for a speeding offence by Huhne in 2003. The Police investigated the claims and a file was passed to the CPS after emails were handed over the investigators by the Sunday Times in January 2012...
...the CPS has concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring charges that between March and May 2003 Mr Huhne committed a speeding offence and falsely informed the authorities that Miss Pryce was the driver and that she falsely accepted that she was the driver. Summonses have been obtained against the both of them for perverting the course of justice.
The DPP added that the couple are scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on February 16, 2012. He then went on to remind the reporters that both parties are now the subject of a judicial hearing and consequently members of the media need to be careful in their reporting in order to ensure that they have a fair trial. Within the hour came the news that Chris Huhne had resigned his Cabinet position as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
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