Chris Huhne 'speeding' file passed to CPS
Wednesday 27 July 2011
Police today passed a file on Energy Secretary Chris Huhne to the Crown Prosecution Service, in relation to allegations that he asked another person to take penalty points for speeding.
Mr Huhne's former wife Vicky Pryce claimed in a newspaper interview in May that the Eastleigh MP had tried to pass on his points to someone else. It was subsequently alleged that the individual involved was Ms Pryce herself.
The speeding offence is alleged to have taken place in 2003 when the then MEP was driving home from Stansted Airport after flying back from the European Parliament. Mr Huhne has vigorously denied asking anyone else to take the points.
A spokesman for Essex Police today said: "Essex Police can confirm that a file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service today."
The CPS must now decide whether any charges should be brought against Mr Huhne.
The CPS said the file would be assessed by a lawyer in its Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division, who will decide whether charges should be brought.
"We will look at it and then we will make a decision on whether anyone should be charged with anything," said a spokeswoman.
"We don't know how long it is going to take. It will depend on what is in the file.
"Depending on what is in the file, we may ask the police for more information or seek advice from counsel."
News that the file had been passed to police came as Mr Huhne was cleared of wrongdoing over his election expenses following an investigation by the Electoral Commission.
The probe was prompted by complaints that Mr Huhne had under-reported the amount spent on his campaign. But the Commission today said it was taking no action against the Eastleigh MP, after finding only minor discrepancies in his election expense returns.
The Commission found that the cost of his campaign website was £45.15, rather than the £35 reported, but noted that this still left him well within spending limits.
And it found that the decision to allocate spending totalling around £5,400 to the national Liberal Democrat campaign, rather than to Mr Huhne's personal campaign for the Eastleigh seat, was "reasonable and in line with Electoral Commission guidance".
The Commission asked the party to review its procedures, after it failed to declare in its own returns the cash attributed to the national campaign by Mr Huhne's team. And Mr Huhne was told to take more care with campaign literature, after the Commission found some letters did not accurately carry their printer's name, as they are required to.
Welcoming the Commission's findings, Mr Huhne said: "The Electoral Commission is very clear that the campaign was properly within the legal limits, as I always maintained, and I am delighted that we have such a clear conclusion to this investigation.
"This is the second review caused by misinformed and politically-motivated complaints, and it now means that all the complaints concerning my campaign have been rejected.
"My agent, Anne Winstanley, has been painstaking and meticulous in preparing the proper returns in accordance with the law."
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