Watchdog opens review of Huhne's expenses

Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy, discovered yesterday that he is not yet in the clear over an allegation that he broke electoral law when he filed his expenses after the last general election.

A week ago, the Electoral Commission said it had rejected a complaint from two former Liberal Democrat councillors in Mr Huhne's constituency in Eastleigh, Hampshire, who left the party in January in protest at the Coalition Government's policies.

They alleged that there was a "false declaration" in Mr Huhne's election expenses, an allegation strongly denied by Mr Huhne. But yesterday the Commission announced it was opening a "case review" after receiving a second complaint from a pressure group called the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.

Mr Huhne declared spending of £29,519 at the general election and the maximum allowed under election law was £39,973. But the two former Liberal Democrats said they heard the local party treasurer Anne Winstanley say at a party meeting that the election "cost more than we declared".

Mr Huhne said yesterday: "I have full confidence that my agent declared my election expenses correctly."