People and Business: From Fitch to Strasbourg

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The Independent Online
CHRIS HUHNE is resigning from Fitch IBCA, the global debt-rating agency, in order to run for election to the European Parliament as a Liberal Democrat.

Mr Huhne is head of the sovereign and international public finance group, looking after bond ratings for the company. He says he is "hopeful" of being elected as an MEP. He has secured the number two slot for the Lib Dems in the South-east region, the number one slot being occupied by Emma Nicholson.

If elected Mr Huhne, a "convinced europhile" and a former business and city editor of this very organ, hopes to join the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. This is the committee that will grill Wim Duisenberg about the activities of the European Central Bank - insofar as the ECB is answerable to anyone.

If he gets in Mr Huhne will join Graham Watson, already a Lib Dem MEP, who once had the thankless task of being spokesman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the Jacques Attali "gold- plated door handles" era. Mr Watson then went on to be a spokesman for HSBC before ascending to Strasbourg.