'Huhne finds prison experience fascinating'


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The Independent Online

Chris Huhne, the former cabinet minister who was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice, has found his experience of prison so far “fascinating”, according to the former Tory MP Jonathan Aitken.

Mr Aitken, who spent seven months in prison in 1999 for perjury and has since taken an interest in prison reform, said today that he had exchanged letters with Huhne.

The correspondence revealed that the former Energy and Climate Change Secretary was in “good shape”, he said.

The exchange began after Mr Aitken, who was in John Major’s cabinet, sent Huhne a book of psalms with a “cheerful” note and received “a nice letter back”, he told Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme.

“I think he said, ‘I’ve now gone through Wandsworth and Leyhill and I’ve found them fascinating’, which is a surprisingly positive adjective to use about a prison,” Mr Aitken said.

“I got the general impression from his letter that he was in good shape.”

Huhne, 58, who was Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh, was jailed in March after admitting he had asked his wife, Vicky Pryce, 60, to take speeding points for him in 2003. She was also jailed for eight months.

Mr Aitken said he often wrote to prisoners. “If you’ve been through the prison experience you want to help people who are also going through it,” he said. He added that he had not seen any signs of repentance in Huhne’s letter. “I wasn’t expecting it... it was a cheerful correspondence. So there was no clue about repentance.”