Detectives to quiz Chris Huhne over speeding claims

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The Independent Online

The Energy Secretary Chris Huhne came under fresh pressure yesterday after detectives said they want to speak to "key individuals" over allegations that he tried to evade punishment for speeding.

Essex Police said the approaches would be made to establish whether any offence had been committed following claims Mr Huhne asked his now ex-wife Vicky Pryce to accept penalty points on his behalf after a speeding offence on the M11 in 2003.

Mr Huhne has repeatedly denied the allegations, dismissing them as "incorrect", but his spokesman said last night that he has contacted Essex Police and offered to help them with their enquiries.

"He will be speaking to them next week," the spokesman added.

Detective Superintendent Tim Wills said: "There are many lines of enquiry to be taken and the team are still working to establish if an offence has been committed. This will entail speaking to key individuals identified by the inquiry team."

Earlier, Downing Street indicated that David Cameron still had confidence in Mr Huhne.

"The position on Chris Huhne has not changed," the Prime Minister's spokesman said. "He denies all the allegations on the issue."

The statement came as a Labour MP claimed that Scotland Yard is to investigate the former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister David Laws over his Parliamentary expenses claims.

Mr Laws was suspended from the Commons for seven days last week after being found guilty of claiming rent which was paid to his partner.