The Political Implications of the Huhne Resignation
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Having been charged with perverting the course of justice, Chris Huhne resigned as Energy and Climate Change Minister in order to focus upon his legal defence. In the resulting mini reshuffle Ed Davey has been promoted to take his place from his post as an Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This is the first case of a serving minister facing criminal charges in at least the last 100 years, and with Huhne being such a high profile and influential Lib Dem in the coalition his resignation could have widespread political implications. Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman remarked that ‘the smallest of violins will be playing’ in Number 10 in response to the resignation. Huhne was felt to be a thorn in the side of David Cameron and George Osborne around the cabinet table, causing tensions in the coalition by being quite outspoken. This prime example of this was Huhne’s reported outburst in a cabinet meeting where he slapped No to AV campaign leaflets on the table and directly confronted Osborne and Cameron over what he viewed as underhand tactics in the campaign.
Moreover, the appointment of Ed Davy will be well received by the Conservative leadership, with many feeling that he is almost an 'honorary Cameroon' with views more akin to the Conservatives' and so it is anticipated he will smoothen the operation of the coalition.
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