February 8 - 14 2012
μWorld News PAGES 13-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Final message Gary Speed’s wife says her husband sent text suggesting suicide
WORLD NEWS P15
Egyptian football horror More violence in Cairo after football riot kills more than 70
WORLD NEWS P13
New revolution Rebel village of Wukan prepares for China’s first free elections
EXPAT LIFE P30-31
International schools Warwick Mansell looks at expat education options in Singapore
17 7 21 22 38 39 4 7 40 41 45 48
Bonus Ball 3
Bonus Ball 45
There was no winner of Saturday’s £4.6m jackpot and one winner of Wednesday’s £2.2m prize
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By Robert Winnett CHRIS HUHNE last week became the first Cabinet minister in living memory to be charged with a serious criminal offence after the fallout from his acrimonious divorce left him facing court, a potential jail sentence and the end of his political career.
The Energy Secretary was forced to resign within minutes of the announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that he had been charged with perverting the course of justice. The Liberal Democrat will make his first court appearance in less than a fortnight.
Mr Huhne and his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, have both been charged with the same offence after it was alleged that she agreed to accept speeding points on behalf of her then husband.
The charges carry a maximum life sentence, although legal precedent suggests that a guilty verdict in such a case would probably lead to a prison sentence of fewer than two years.
Mr Huhne now faces the prospect of a court showdown with his ex-wife, whose allegations about the incident prompted the police investigation that resulted in last Friday’s announcement.
The claims first emerged last year at the height of a bitter divorce after Mr Huhne left Miss Pryce for one of his aides. The speeding charge dates back to 2003 and the CPS decided to charge Mr Huhne after police seized emails between his ex-wife and a journalist.
Announcing his resignation, Mr Huhne declared his innocence and vowed to clear his name. Last Friday, Miss Pryce, a prominent economist, said that she hoped for a “quick resolution” to the case.
Out the door: Chris Huhne and his estranged wife Vicky Pryce, right, are due in court next week
On an extraordinary day of political drama, senior Liberal Democrats rushed to defend Mr Huhne, who has repeatedly denied the accusation.
In a letter to Mr Huhne following his resignation, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said: “I fully understand your decision to stand down from government in order to clear your name, but I hope you will be able to do so rapidly so that you can return to play a key role in government as soon as possible.”
Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Business Secretary, added that he was “confident” that Mr Huhne would be cleared.
However, in his letter to the minister, David Cameron made no mention of the prospect of Mr Huhne returning to government if he is cleared of the charges.
After praising Mr Huhne’s work in tackling climate change, Mr Cameron said: “Like the Deputy Prime
Minister, I am sorry to see you leave the Government under these circumstances and wish you well for the future.” Mr Huhne, 57, is the third Cabinet minister — and the second Lib Dem — to be forced to resign since the formation of the Coalition in 2010, following his fellow party member David Laws, and Dr Liam Fox.
His departure forced a mini-reshuffle that saw Ed Davey, a junior Lib Dem minister, promoted to the Cabinet as Energy Secretary.
The vacancy left by Mr Davey in the Department for Business was filled by Norman Lamb, a parliamentary aide to Mr Clegg. The dramatic day in Westminster began when the Prime Minister was told by Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary, at 9.10am last Friday that Mr Huhne was to be charged.
In a televised press conference at 10am, Keir Starmer, the country’s chief prosecutor, said: “All the available evidence, including the new material, has now been carefully considered by the CPS and we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Mr Huhne and Miss Pryce for perverting the course of justice.
“The essence of the charges is that, between March and May 2003, Mr Huhne, having allegedly committed a speeding offence, falsely informed the investigating authorities that Miss Pryce had been the driver of the vehicle in question, and she falsely accepted that she was the driver. They are due to appear in court on February 16 this year.”
Within an hour, Mr Huhne announced his resignation outside the house he shares with his partner, Carina Trimingham. He said: “I am innocent of these charges and I intend to fight this in the courts and I am confident that a jury will agree.”
By Philip Sherwell in Las Vegas MITT ROMNEY cemented his status as the Republican presidential front-runner with a comfortable victory in the Nevada caucus last Saturday – his third win in five contests.
The former Massachusetts governor used his victory speech at a boisterous rally in a Las Vegas casino ballroom to attack Barack Obama as he attempts to put the primary campaign behind him and focus on November’s presidential election.
In his address to an energetic crowd who repeatedly chanted his name, he ignored his Republican rivals and repeatedly blasted Mr Obama for his handling of the economy.
It was one of the most powerful speeches of his campaign in a state that is expected to be a key battleground in November, with an unemployment rate of 12.6 per cent, the highest in America.
But even as he seeks to build the momentum to wards the battle for the White House, his three opponents for the Republican nomination vowed to fight on as the race moves this week to Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.
By contrast, his closest challenger Newt Gingrich held a press conference,
rather than talking to supporters, and had to begin by refuting speculation that he was going to drop out of the race after defeats in Florida and then Nevada.
In a 22-minute session in which his mood varied between defiant and angry, Mr Gingrich downplayed Mr Romney’s success as a result of the influence of his fellow Mormons in the state.
And he repeatedly hammered Mr Romney as “a pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-taxes” candidate – even though aides had said earlier that he intended to return to a positive campaign message.
Almost unavoidably for America’s self-proclaimed
Sin City, Mr Romney held his caucus-night party in a casino and Mormon supporters made their way to the rally past thousands of people gambling and drinking – activities proscribed by their faith. Mr Romney was welcomed on to stage by his wife Ann, an increasingly important campaign figure, and two of their five sons and several grandchildren. The message “Believe in America” was emblazoned behind them. Mr Romney is now hoping to notch up a series of victories in states that look like favourable terrain for him before the 11 contests on Super Tuesday in early March.