POLICE will this week decide whether to launch an investigation into claims that Chris Huhne asked someone else to take his penalty points for a speeding offence in 2003.
Backbench Labour MP Simon Danczuk has lodged a formal police complaint over the allegations, after two Sunday newspapers claimed to have heard a tape recording in which Huhne urges a witness not to talk to the media about the alleged incident.
“We can confirm we have received an email regarding a speeding offence in 2003,” Essex Police said in a statement.
“This information will be passed to officers who will decide on whether an investigation will be launched. We take allegations such as this one extremely seriously and will take action where necessary.”
The energy secretary was an MEP at the time of the alleged incident in 2003 and has previously denied the claims.
Falsely naming a different driver to avoid penalty points is a criminal offence that can lead to a prison sentence.
A senior Liberal Democrat source yesterday told City A.M.: “If there is categorical proof he has broken the law then it would be very difficult for him to survive.”
The allegations surfaced after Huhne’s estranged wife Vicky Pryce made the claims in a newspaper interview.
Yesterday, Downing Street refused to comment on the allegations, insisting it was a matter for the Liberal Democrat party. The Lib Dems referred enquiries to Huhne’s office, which did not return calls.
Before the allegations, there was speculation that Huhne could launch a leadership bid against Nick Clegg in the wake of the party’s disastrous campaign to change the voting system.