A Liberal Democrat from Eastleigh has been jailed again — but it’s not Chris Huhne this time. Naked rambler Stephen Gough, who announced support for the Coalition party during the recent by-election, is going back to prison again for breaching his ASBO.
Gough has spent more than six years in prison for choosing not to wear clothes — that’s 34 times longer than Huhne spent in the clanger for a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Commuters should have been forgiven for a double-take when reading page 9 of Metro this morning, where a picture of Chris Huhne’s release appears alongside the headline (for a different story) “Rapists let off with a caution”.
A coincidence … or did the Metro designers decided to have a bit of fun yesterday evening?
11:23pm. 12 March 2003. 69 miles per hour in a 50 zone.
Chris Huhne’s political corpse is still warm but the coalition hostilities in Eastleigh (and Westminster) have already begun — starting with Tory attempts to knife a potential Lib Dem candidate.
In the last few minutes, activists have had an email from the Tory HQ campaigning department asking them to man phone lines to Hampshire from 6:30pm tonight. Those, err, lucky enough to be there for what is euphemistically described as a “fun night” on Monday will be joined by Grant Shapps and his predecessor as party chair, Eric Pickles:
“I am pleased to announce we will be joined at the Call Centre by Eric Pickles Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Party Chairman Grant Shapps. Both will be hitting the phones from 06:30pm and it would be great if you could join us in what should be a fun night of canvassing.”
Scrapbook hears Michael Green will be making an appearance too.
More: The email to activists in full »
As Chris Huhne pleads guilty in his speeding ticket trial, here are some of Scrapbook’s favourite photos of the former energy secretary:
Hear no evil on the motorway
More: Huhne with an actual speed camera »
As Chris Huhne pleads guilty to perverting the course of justice in his speeding ticket trial, Scrapbook notes the Crown Prosecution Service sentencing range:
The sentence could be suspended …
… but changing his plea late on won’t have helped the former energy secretary.
UPDATE: We hope he likes porridge
The official guide to the Liberal Democrats’ Spring conference is something of an irony free zone this year:
This will doubtless be of much interest to certain former cabinet members.
Remaining silent in the face of criticism of his severance pay, one can only assume Chris Huhne is intent on trousering the £17,000 he is officially entitled to after police charges forced him from office.
While we’re not sure that the Scrapbook team hold much sway with the sharp-elbowed member for Eastleigh, perhaps he might listen to the wisdom of his colleauges. Step forward pensions minister Steve Webb:
“People will be shocked to learn that former ministers get these pay-offs even when they have been sacked or left of their own free will … While thousands are losing their jobs, failed ministers get a huge payout on top of their salary as MPs. This can’t go on.”
And surely Chris will remember this broadside from Sayeeda Warsi — he was sharing a platform with her at the time:
“At a time when people across the country are being asked to tighten their belts to deal with Labour’s economic mess, it is unacceptable that the very people responsible, walk away with up to £20,000 each. Forfeiting this pay would be the first step towards accepting their responsibility”
Yet another case of “Do as I say, not as I do.”