Energy secretary Chris Huhne has tendered his resignation after learning that he is set to face criminal charges following a driving offence he allegedly attempted to cover up.
The allegations relate to a 2003 speeding charge which saw Huhne’s former wife allegedly take the blame for an offence which he is said to have committed. His ex-wife Vicky Pryce will also face prosecution over her involvement which lead to her accepting penalty points for the speeding offence.
Although the energy secretary continues to protest his innocence, following the news this morning that the Crown Prosecution Service intends to lay charges for perverting the course of justice, Huhne made the decision to step down from his post. He has since issued a short statement, in which he described the decision to charge him as “deeply regrettable.”
“Whatever the terms of his departure, few can deny that Chris Huhne has really shaken up the energy debate over the last 2 years. He has certainly been successful in driving that agenda forward,” commented Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy.
While Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins commended the energy secretary for championing the environment despite being part of an administration that’s been less than enthusiastic about being the greenest ever Government.
However Atkins added that his the way his department has incompetently handled the solar cuts fiasco has put almost 30,000 jobs in jeopardy, not to mention leaving energy consumers to compare energy tariffs to fight the problem of soaring fuel bills cannot be overlooked.
“What we really need is decisive Government action to get us off the hook of expensive fossil fuels and invest in clean British energy instead,” said Atkins.
It remains to be seen what effect Huhne’s resignation will have on the renewable energy sector. The news has be received with mixed reaction from the renewables industry, but by and large most seem to welcome the news.
Liberal Democrat Ed Davey has been announced as the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
The case against Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce is scheduled to be heard in court on 16 February.