Nine weeks is a long time in politics: Vicky Pryce and Chris Huhne released from prison but what does the future hold for them?

Huhne is said to be looking for a ‘fourth career’, while Pryce is writing a book about the economics of prison

Nick Clegg will meet Chris Huhne shortly following his release from prison after serving two months of an eight-month sentence for perverting the course of justice.

Both men believe the former Cabinet minister’s career in politics is over and their meeting will be a social one between friends. Although Mr Clegg pipped Mr Huhne to win the Liberal Democrat leadership in 2007, party insiders say they have been wrongly portrayed as rivals.

Mr Clegg sent a text to Mr Huhne after he left Leyhill open prison in Gloucestershire at 7.30am and Mr Huhne replied. They agreed to meet “in the not too distant future”, according to aides of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Vicky Pryce, Mr Huhne’s ex-wife, was freed from East Sutton Park Prison near Maidstone, Kent, yesterday. She also received an eight-month jail term for the same offence, which related to her taking penalty points for a speeding offence committed by her then husband 10 years earlier.

Ms Pryce is writing a book based on her experience in jail. Prisonomics  will be a “very personal” book that will include a “hard-hitting analysis” of the cost of keeping women in prison, according to its publisher.

Friends of Mr Huhne hope that it will not be too “personal” and will not reprise the acrimonious break-up of their marriage and events which led to them both being jailed.

Her publisher Biteback said the book, to be published in September, “is emphatically not a full memoir, but draws upon diaries Vicky has kept during her period in prison”. Iain Dale, the publisher’s managing director, said: “She has a unique perspective on the judicial process and how prison works, or doesn’t, and her book will, I am sure, be a compelling read.”

Ms Pryce said: “I kept a diary while in prison and I have some strong views on how the prison system works, especially with regard to how it treats women. I will use personal experience to back up my arguments but I must be clear that this book is more than a memoir – it will analyse how prison works, and should work, very much from an economic perspective.”

Asked if Ms Pryce could be seen to be profiting from her crime by publishing a book based on her time in prison, her solicitor Robert Brown said: “In my view, the law is not designed to prevent someone like Vicky Pryce from publishing a book about the economics of prisons. It was designed for other sorts of situations, and would not be enforceable against Vicky in this case.”

When she arrived at the former family home in Clapham, south London, Mr Brown said she was “very pleased to be home and back with her family”. He added: “She is grateful for all the support she has received from everyone, including her fellow residents and prison staff. She now intends to spend time with her family and looks forward to returning to her career as an economist.”

Both Mr Huhne and his former wife will wear electronic tags as they complete their sentences outside prison. As he arrived at his flat in Clerkenwell, London, with his partner Carina Trimingham, Mr Huhne told reporters: “I said [previously] that I was very sorry for what I had done. It has been a humbling and sobering experience. I would like to thank all of those who have written to me – hundreds of letters that I have had – and all my family and friends who stood by me. I would now like to get on, get back to home, and continue with my life.”

Friends believe the 58-year-old former Energy and Climate Change Secretary, who worked in journalism and the City before going into politics, will now embark on a “fourth career”. One ally said he will “need to make some money” after his divorce settlement, losing his salary as a minister and MP and facing a demand for £100,000 from the Crown Prosecution Service for the cost of his case, before he changed his mind at the last minute to plead guilty. Mr Huhne is contesting that and has offered to pay £25,000.

Some friends believe he will work in the “green energy” industry, whose growth he encouraged while he was in the Cabinet.

While awaiting his trial, he advised Nationwide Energy Services, which helps householders use the Government’s Green Deal to insulate their homes. He was paid a signing-on fee of £10,000 and retainer of £3,500 a month.

Former political allies believe Mr Huhne will bounce back – but not in politics. One Liberal Democrat source said: “He is a very talented person. Whatever he does, I am sure he will be successful at it.”

Chris Huhne’s statement

“I would just like to say once again, as you know from the night I was sentenced, I said that I was very sorry for what I had done. It has been a humbling and sobering experience. I would like to thank all of those who have written to me - hundreds of letters that I have had - and all my family and friends who stood by me. And I would also just remind you that I have served only part of my sentence and therefore it is not appropriate to say more. I would now like to get on, get back to home, and continue with my life. Thank you for coming.”

Vicky Pryce’s statement

“Vicky Pryce is very pleased to be home and back with her family. She is grateful for all the support she has received from everyone whilst in prison, including her fellow residents and prison staff. She now intends to spend time with her family and looks forward to returning to her career as an economist.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before