British Energy Secretary Huhne resigns

Feb. 3, 2012 at 3:50 PM

LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne resigned shortly after he was charged Friday with conspiring to avoid a driver's license suspension in 2003.

Huhne, a Liberal Democrat, said he will remain in Parliament, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I am innocent of these charges and I intend to fight them in the courts, and I am confident a jury will agree," Huhne said.

"So as to avoid any distraction to my official duties or my trial defence, I am standing down as energy and climate change secretary."

Police in Essex say Huhne, 57, was at the wheel when he was caught speeding by a camera. He allegedly convinced his then-wife, Vicky Pryce, who is also charged, to say she was driving because the points on his license would have meant a lengthy suspension for Huhne.

Pryce, an economist, went to The Times of London with the story in 2010 after Huhne left her for a younger woman. Pryce did not tell the newspaper immediately that she was the one who took the points.

Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, announced Edward Davey, a Liberal Democrat, will replace Huhne in the coalition Cabinet, The New York Times reported.

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