Chris Huhne protests innocence as he confirms resignation from the Cabinet

Chris Huhne has just made the briefest statement outside his Central London flat. He has confirmed that he is stepping down as Energy and Climate Change secretary. He protested his innocence and stated that he was confident that a jury will find him not guilty.

His statement in full is:

The CPS decision to launch a prosecution is deeply regrettable.  I am innocent of the charges and I intend to fight this in the courts. I’m confdent that a jury will agree. So as to avoid any distraction from my duties or my trial defence I am standing down, resigning as Energy and Climate Change secretary. I will of course continue to serve my constituents in Eastleigh.

Nick Clegg has left the Liberal Democrat Away Day in Eastbourne and returned to London. The BBC is reporting that Ed Davey is expected to be confirmed as Energy and Climate Change Secretary with Norman Lamb replacing him as the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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10 Comments

  • This is the right decision.

    He referred on an earlier occasion to an inquiry which had already cleared him of these charges. Why didn’t he just cite this inquiry again and show its results ?

  • toryboysnevergrowup 3rd Feb '12 - 11:42am

    Anyone here think it is an absolute disgrace that it has taken so long for this case to come to a prosecution – especially given that the alleged crime is hardly the most complex in the world. Any ordinary person committing a similar offence would expect the whole thing to be done and dusted in a pretty short period – I fail to see why their should be any special treatment because the alleged perpetrator is a Cabinet Minister.

  • Richard Hill 3rd Feb '12 - 12:04pm

    Trying to prove a crime once people have conspired to conceal can be a lengthy progress even when one person admits to everything as they can be accused of lying. I don’t know the truth in this case but I respect the thoroughness of the police in cases like this and their determination to get at the facts. Conspiracy in any crime is complex.

  • It might be an idea to prune two of the concurrent threads up. It’ll just get confusing otherwise.

    As for the subject, of course he’s “innocent until proven guilty”… it’s just that eagerness to cite this seems to be in inverse proportion to understanding of what it, in fact, means.

    ~alec

  • Richard Hill 3rd Feb '12 - 1:20pm

    The “innocent until proven guilty” line is only in the eyes of the law. I know from my own past that just because I never got caught and therfore not proved guilty that I was some how innocent.

  • Andrew Suffield 3rd Feb '12 - 3:49pm

    One could question the extent to which the Sunday Times was acting on political motivation here – particularly if they were dragging it out to drop it at a convenient moment.

    If Huhne is shown to be innocent, some hard questions are going to be asked about that.

  • Tony Dawson 3rd Feb '12 - 5:46pm

    @Andrew Suffield

    “If Huhne is shown to be innocent,”

    People are not ‘shown to be innocent’ in English Law, they are found ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’.

    Many of those who are found ‘Not Guilty’ are hardly innocent, but the case has not been proven in court to the satisfaction of judge or jury. And a few who are found Guilty are actually innocent. We set our ‘burden of proof’ high in order to try to minimise this latter group.

  • toryboysnevergrowup 3rd Feb '12 - 9:08pm

    As well as the delay between October and now as a result of the legal battle with the Sunday Times – I would also like to know what was happening in the period between July and October when the matter was placed in the hands of the CPS. I’m afraid the purported crime is not overly complex – and there is something seriously wrong if it takes 8 months to decide whether or not to prosecute. I’m afraid I don’t buy Richard’s argument about conspiracy to conceal either – I would have thought that it is a pretty common factor in many crimes.

    Such delays are not fair either on Society or the accused (regardless of whether they are guilty or not). Justice delayed is justice denied as the old legal maxim goes.

  • Andrew Suffield 4th Feb '12 - 5:50pm

    People are not ‘shown to be innocent’ in English Law

    Which is why English Law is irrelevant to this matter, and what counts is whether or not Huhne is shown to be innocent.

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