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UK Politics

Chris Huhne: 'I was guilty but it's Constance Briscoe's fault I went to prison'

Legal argument about evidence does not go down well on Twitter

If Chris Huhne was trying to improve his popularity with a column blaming his imprisonment on disgraced judge Constance Briscoe, his plan seems to have spectacularly backfired.

The former minister’s name has been trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons thanks to his article in The Guardian about being “fitted up with fake evidence”.

He publicly denied swapping speeding points with his then wife, Vicky Pryce, for months before eventually admitting the crime and resigning as an MP.

“Although I was guilty, I justified my denial to myself by saying that it was a relatively minor offence committed by 300,000 other people (according to AA polling), that prosecutions should be based on facts not fantasy, and that we would no longer be able to pursue requests for disclosure about Briscoe's wrongdoing,” he wrote.

He and Pryce were jailed last year and have since been released but Briscoe, a part-time judge and author, was sentenced to 16 months behind bars last week for her role in the scandal.

She colluded with Pryce out of revenge and leaked details of the points swapping, the court heard. She later lied to police about her role and tampered with court documents.

Constance Briscoe leaves the Old Bailey after being found guilty of lying to police

Mr Huhne claimed Briscoe made his divorce, sparked by an affair with his former assistant, “one of the messiest in history”.

Dubbing the saga “the tangled tale of the crooked judge, the criminal cabinet minister and his vengeful wife”, the former Energy Secretary argued that his prosecution was triggered by Briscoe’s false witness statement.

He wrote: “The legal system reached the right conclusions in all three criminal cases, but usually for the wrong reasons. I was prosecuted on the basis of Briscoe's lies.”

The position does not seem to have garnered much sympathy for his political downfall…


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Judge jailed for role in speeding scandal