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Wirral Euro MP laments fall from grace of former colleague Chris Huhne
1:30pm Monday 4th February 2013 in News
Chris Huhne dramatically announced he was stepping down from Parliament after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.
The former energy secretary was due to stand trial alongside ex-wife Vicky Pryce on charges that he made her take speeding points on his behalf.
Wirral Euro MP Chris Davies served alongside Mr Huhne for seven years in the European Parliament.
He said: "I am glad to live in a country where even those in high positions can be brought down by failing to respect the law.
"What was at the time a relatively minor misdemeanour has become a genuine Greek tragedy, and he has no-one to blame but himself.
"But I have great admiration for Chris Huhne's political ability and today's announcement is likely to deprive us of that.
“I am sorry for him”.
Mr Huhne dramatically changed his plea as the case was about to open at London's Southwark Crown Court.
Making a statement outside court afterwards, the Liberal Democrat said: "Having taken responsibility for something that happened 10 years ago, the only proper course of action for me is to resign my Eastleigh seat in Parliament, which I will do shortly."
The 58-year-old strongly denied the claims when he was charged by prosecutors last February and repeated the denials in court as recently as last week. But when asked again, he clearly stated: "Guilty."
PR adviser Carina Trimingham was in the public gallery to watch as Huhne made the admission.
The emergence of their relationship in September 2010 ended his marriage to 60-year-old Pryce, and the speeding allegations leaked out soon afterwards.
Perverting the course of justice carries a maximum sentence of life - but the average is around 10 months.
Under Commons rules, MPs are only forced to step down if they receive custodial terms of more than 12 months, but realistically Huhne's departure was regarded as inevitable.
Pryce's case was adjourned until 10am on Tuesday, at Southwark, when a trial is expected to start. She was granted unconditional bail.