Michael Gove has said despite Chris Huhne's high flying political career he will only be remembered "for the fall".
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the education secretary said his former Lib Dem cabinet colleague had ruined his legacy by asking his wife to accept speeding points to avoid a driving ban.
"Huhne is remarkable, he appeared to be a nerveless vicar, one of those people who was never burdened by self-doubt and who could take on all-comers," Gove said.
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"Now people will remember him only for the fall; from having been a few places away from being deputy prime minister to suddenly being in Brixton nick."
Gove's comments come as the Tories and Lib Dem fight a pitched battle over the former energy secretary's Eastleigh seat.
The by-election is the first time the two coalition parties have gone head-to-head in a contest since coming to a power sharing agreement in 2010.