Chris Huhne is a former British journalist and politician who currently works as an energy and climate change consultant. He has also served the British Parliament as a member from the Liberal Democratic Party from Eastleigh. Chris was born in West London into an esteemed business family and pursued his higher education from Oxford University and Sorbonne University, Paris. He was also very active in student politics during his college years and worked for the Labour Party. Following his studies, he became an entrepreneur and founded ‘IBCA Sovereign Ratings.’ Apart from running his own company, he also wrote columns for ‘The Guardian.’ In 2005, he became a Member of the British Parliament from Eastleigh and served until 2013. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. In February 2012, however, he resigned after he pled guilty on a case of perverting the course of justice over a speeding incident.
Childhood & Early Life
Chris Huhne was born Christopher Murray Paul-Huhne, on July 2, 1954, in West London, UK, to Peter Paul-Huhne and Ann Murray. His father was a well-known businessman while his mother previously worked as an actress.
Ever since he was a kid, Chris exhibited great skills in academics. He had always been academically inclined and following his high school graduation from Westminster School, he got enrolled into Magdalen College in the highly prestigious University of Oxford. He had entered the college through Demy, a kind of scholarship for academically excellent students.
He had developed journalistic approach in himself in his teenage years. He served as the editor of Isis, the university magazine at the Oxford. Following his graduation from college, he moved to Sorbonne, Paris, to continue his further studies. He deeply studied subjects such as Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He passed his majors with first class degrees in all the above mentioned subjects.
What intrigued him the most during his college years was politics. He served as an executive of Oxford University Labour Club and side by side, he also lent an active support to the British Labour Party.
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Right after he was finished with his education, Chris did not immediately leaped into politics. Instead, he founded a company called IBCA Sovereign Ratings in 1994. The company worked towards measuring the risk of investing in different countries. He became the managing director of the company in 1997 and in 1999 he took the position as vice-chairman of the company Fitch Ratings.
Apart from running the company, he has also served as one of the main writers and regular columnists for one of the biggest British dailies, The Guardian. He also worked with ’The Independent’ as economics editor, columnist, and assistant editor, on sundays. He also covered the infamous fraud committed by Robert Maxwell on the Mirror Group Pension Fund.
He also served as an independent freelance reporter in India during the period of emergency imposed on India by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He worked undercover as the circumstances were not exactly in favour of Western journalists at that time.
Apart from The Guardian and The Independent, he also worked as a journalist for other publications such as Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post. He also worked briefly with The Economist. In addition, he alsoco-wrote a few books, such as ‘Debt & Danger: The World Financial Crisis’ and ‘Real World Economics’.
Chris contested elections for the first time in 1983 when he became the Parliamentary candidate from Reading East for the SDP-Liberal Alliance.
His real political career began in 1999 when he was selected as as a member of the European Parliament for South East England. Apart from his responsibilities as a European Parliamentarian, he played a huge role in developing Liberal Democrat Policies serving as the chairman of four policy groups- the introduction of the Euro, Globalisation, broadcasting and the media and the reform of public services.
In the 2005 British general elections, he was elected as the representative of Eastleigh in the British parliament. He had won the seat in a historically conservative area, which was a huge feat.
Charles Kennedy resigned as the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in the early 2006. After that, there was a stiff competition between Chris, Sir Menzies Campbell and Simon Hughes. Although Sir Menzies received most votes for the leadership, Chris’ candidature was supported by the likes of veteran party members such as Lord Maclennan and William Rodgers.
Chris also gained a lot of supporters through online campaigns, bloggers and internet personalities also supported his candidature. However, in the final vote counting, Chris lost to Sir Menzies.
But his campaign had done its job of making environmental conservation one of the main agendas put forward by the party.
In October 2007, Sir Menzies handed over his resignation as the leader of the party and Chris once again became the top contender. But he was unlucky this time as well, as he lost to Nick Clegg by a very narrow margin of just 511 votes.
In the 2010 General Elections he was appointed in the negotiating team that led to a coalition between their party and the Conservative Party. He was then appointed as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the coalition government. On February 5, 2013, Chris resigned following his plea of guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Family & Personal Life
Chris Huhne had been married to Greek-born British economist named Vicky Pryce since 1984. She married Chris shortly after she divorced her first husband and moved in with Chris with two of her children from the previous marriage. Chris and Vicky went on having three children of their own.
In June 2010 however, the marriage embarked on a rocky path amidst the rumours of his affair with Carina Trimingham. Following that, Vicky filed for a divorce and the divorce was granted by the court in January 2011.
Chris resigned from the cabinet over a speeding case which was apparently resolved in 2003 but opened up again in 2011 by Vicky who moved to a reporter and claimed that Chris was a liar.
He and his wife were driving over the speed limit in 2003 and upon getting apprehended by the authorities, his wife Vicky had claimed that she was driving the car. The trial began in February 2013, and Chris admitted that he was driving the car and that he lied in the court. He served 9 weeks in jail, starting 11 March of an eight months sentence.