POLITICS

Nick Clegg Has A 'Lot Of Respect' For Chris Huhne, Hopes To See Him Soon

30/04/2013 13:14 BST | Updated 30/06/2013 10:12 BST
AP

Nick Clegg has not contacted Chris Huhne in jail but retains "a lot of respect" for his party colleague and hopes to meet with him when he gets out from behind bars, he said.

Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce are expected to be released from prison next month, after serving around a quarter of their eight-month sentences for perverting the course of justice.

The politician pleaded guilty after quitting the Cabinet to clear his name, and Pryce was convicted by a jury, after it emerged she took speeding points on his behalf a decade earlier.

Mr Clegg told BBC Radio 4's The World at One that it was not good for the party to have someone "as significant in the Liberal Democrat world" as his former leadership rival behind bars.

Asked he had been in touch, the Deputy Prime Minister said: "Not while he's been in prison, no.

"But I very much hope I will see him at some point in the future because whatever Chris has done, and he's been found guilty and he has served his time, he is someone I have known all my political life and someone I have a lot of respect for."

Mr Clegg also said that he had not been asked by Scotland Yard to take part in their investigation into allegations that a Lib Dem peer sexually harassed activists.

Officers have looked into whether there are witnesses who would speak to police and are now investigating if there is corroborating evidence to back up claims against Lord Rennard.

The former party chief executive is accused of behaving inappropriately towards a number of women in the party, but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Asked whether he expected to be asked to be questioned by the police, Mr Clegg said: "I haven't been asked. You would need to ask the police."