Friday, February 17, 2006
Michael Crick Accuses Chris Huhne
Michael Crick has just reported on Newsnight on an alleged abuse of European Parliament expenses my LibDem leadership contender Chris Huhne. He is said to have used EU money to finance four newspapers distributed in the Eastleigh constituency before the last General Election. It appears clear that under EU regualtions that is against the rules. Huhne won the seat by a mere 500 odd votes, so it is little wonder that the local Conservatives and their excellent candidate Conor Burns feel sore at this blatant abuse. Huhne, to his credit, appeared on camera to defend his corner and he seemed to treat it all rather lightly, indeed, some would say flippantly. In North Norfolk I was criticised for accepting money from Michael Ashcroft to finance part of my campaign. The very same people who critisised me for that will no doubt defend Chris Huhne for using taxpayers' money for party political ends. I doubt whether this will affect the result of the leadership contest, but when the European parliament come to investigate this, as they surely must, it could be something that comes back to haunt Mr Huhne.