Tessa Munt and Tim Farron on Chris Huhne’s downfall

Reaction to Chris Huhne’s shock decision to plead guilty to perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case and to quit as MP for Eastleigh has been rolling throughout the day.

Here’s two of Chris’s backbench colleagues on today’s events. First, Lib Dem MP for Wells, Tessa Munt, who praised his work as a “fantastic constituency MP”:

And Lib Dem president Tim Farron has written to party members this evening:

Shocked and saddened

Today’s news about Chris Huhne makes this a difficult day for Liberal Democrats everywhere.

Nick Clegg summed up how we are all feeling when he said he was “shocked and saddened”.

Leader of Eastleigh Council Keith House said, “It is very, very sad to learn of Chris’s resignation. He has been a hard-working MP for Eastleigh for the last eight years”.

This is clearly an extremely serious matter and the legal process must now be allowed to take its course.

At times like this, it’s important that we pull together and prepare for the by-election in Eastleigh that will follow soon.

I know that we will be up to the task – and I am confident and determined that we will win.

Best wishes,

Tim Farron
President of the Liberal Democrats

As legal proceedings are currently taking place, personal comments about either Vicky or Chris won’t be published at least until the trial has concluded and then only if they’re in accordance with our published comments policy.

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  • Given this I do wonder why he ran, twice, for party leader. Imagine he were the DPM in the dock today.
    Very sad affair.

  • Easy answer to that is that like so many others with his background and wealth he thought he could get away with it – lets not forget that until the last minute he was spending vast sums of money with his legal team to get the case dismissed knowing full well he was guilty.

  • Helen Dudden 5th Feb '13 - 7:59am

    That is what law is about , a defense is what justice is there for. I think it should be added, a very sad day, for the family of Chris Huhne.

    He misjudged the situation, and he has paid the price.

  • Old Codger Chris 5th Feb '13 - 11:02am

    Peeves is right and I heard a clip yesterday where Huhne was talking about Law and Order and saying that only one percent of crimes result in punishment. Perhaps he thought he had a 99 percent chance of avoiding justice.

  • Matthew Huntbach 5th Feb '13 - 2:00pm


    Easy answer to that is that like so many others with his background and wealth he thought he could get away with it

    It’s hard to see how he could. Now we’ve seen more of the facts, they do seem pretty damning. Even if he’d got away on “Not Guilty” on the grounds it couldn’t be proved, I think he would still be damaged goods in most people’s eyes.

  • “It’s hard to see how he could. Now we’ve seen more of the facts, they do seem pretty damning. Even if he’d got away on “Not Guilty” on the grounds it couldn’t be proved, I think he would still be damaged goods in most people’s eyes.”

    Apparently Huhne thought his very expensive legal team would get the case thrown out, so there never would be a trial, on the grounds that it was so long ago, paperwork was missing, the police hadn’t followed procedure and that he would not get a fair trial.. That’s what was happening in court a week ago. And if he had succeeded, he would have been back at the ‘top table’ very quickly. It was never about the truth, you see, but about playing the system.

  • Paul in Twickenham 5th Feb '13 - 2:43pm

    Yes, this feels like Huhne was simply spinning it out in the hope that the CPS case would be thrown out at the last moment due to some technicality. I was once involved in a car crash where the other driver was drunk (so drunk he couldn’t stand up) and he did the same thing – insisting he was not guilty right up until the moment that the jury was sworn in, at which point he changed his plea to guilty.

  • All the MP’s and Lords that were caught fiddling their expenses and doing time in jail,
    All those that were caught, but avoided the criminal justice system,
    David Laws, fiddling his expenses and being returned to the font benches,
    Chris Huhne, breaking the law, Perjury, perverting the course of justice.

    It all paints a dirty picture of how Politicians seem to think they are above the law and untouchable.

    I find it remarkable whenever a politician is “exposed” in some kind of scandal, Colleagues rush out in their doves to defend them, trying to convince the rest of us of their innocence and how it’s not in their character. And yet time and time again through the passage of time the truth has be exposed.

    Is it really any wonder why politicians are so disliked.

    I find it incredible that this government managed to rush through the NHS bill (which it had no mandate to do)
    Welfare reforms that are attacking the poor and vulnerable.
    And yet here we are almost 3 years into this government and still the legislation for the right to recall an MP has not been implemented (despite it being in the coalition agreement)

  • Richard Boyd 5th Feb '13 - 8:15pm

    I recall the Jeremy Thorpe era,, the court case , the press coverage, and his divisive appearance at the Blackpool
    conference after his aquital. I ecall Gerald Nabarro and his identical story that his passenger had been driving,
    What is now different is that many people are not shocked. There appears to be an acceptance “out there” that
    all politicians are liars.
    The personal and family damage is forgotten. The destruction of friends loyalty is overlooked
    Paddy was gulity of personal frailty and damage to his family – but he owned up and was truly contrite. Chris
    demeaned himself by cowering behind the decade passing since he lied to the Essex Police. He lied – end of
    story. He is not contrite.

  • Paul McKeown 6th Feb '13 - 11:25am

    Tessa Munt speaks well. I think she hit the right tone there – and with evident sincerity.

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