When the "heat" intensified Huhne opted to resign, although still maintaining his innocence. The former Mrs Huhne had in effect instigated the allegations but that action has back fired on her. Yes, Hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned. She too however is now facing criminal charges.
Today however the news about Mr Huhne is in relation to a claim for severance pay that he has decided to make.
If you a resign from a post it escapes me just how come you can claim severance pay. It your hand was forced, and in many ways it was a constructive dismissal, that is a different matter. You would probably have a legal claim but no doubt that would have to go through the courts.
However, once again we are learning that whilst the UK government continue to preach austerity and a whittling down of rights they do not practice what they preach. Sky News has reported Mr Huhne as,
- As a Minister, he earned £68,827 a year on top of his MPs' salary of £65,738.
- Chris Huhne has requested a £17,000 payoff after leaving the Cabinet to fight allegations he committed a criminal offence.
- Huhne is personally wealthy after a career as a financial journalist and City economist and reportedly owns eight properties.
It turns out that other Ministers have taken severance pay in the past, but not all who have been eligible have done so. Some it seems do still have principles. Labour MP John Mann mirrors public anger at the severance pay claim. He wants such severance payments scrapped. Mann is proposing a Bill to do just that. He said, "This is outrageous. We should be asking Mr Huhne why he considers it appropriate to accept this money when the country is facing deep cuts. Mr Huhne should repay this undeserved bonus immediately. Now is the time for Parliament to back my Bill and ban these payments. I am also calling on David Cameron and Ed Miliband to back the Bill because there is no sense in making massive payouts to disgraced cabinet ministers."
Surely the nation will agree with this? What a disgrace. More political hypocrisy. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has chosen to sit on the fence yet again. His comments on the severance pay news were, "It's his decision. It's an individual decision. He's decided to take that severance pay.Pressed further, he added: "It's a decision which he has taken and he has taken alone." Not good enough Mr Clegg. Not by a long chalk.
Huhne and his former wife will appear in court on Friday March 2, 2012.