Prime Minister David Cameron is facing calls to intervene over allegations Energy Secretary Chris Huhne persuaded his former wife to accept speeding penalty points oh his behalf.
Labour sought to step up the pressure on the beleaguered Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister, urging Mr Cameron to set up an inquiry to establish the truth of the claims surrounding the speeding offence eight years ago.
Mr Huhne is due to be interviewed this week by Essex Police over the allegations, which first surfaced two weeks ago when his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, told The Sunday Times that he had asked someone else to take the penalty points. Subsequent press reports said she was the person concerned.
Although Mr Huhne has denied the allegations – which date back to his days as an MEP – he has had to endure a steady stream of disclosures apparently supporting Ms Pryce’s claims.
After The Mail on Sunday published details of Ms Pryce’s driving licence yesterday showing she received three points for an offence on the date concerned, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Tessa Jowell said Mr Cameron had to resolve the issue.
“He should be getting a proper investigation independently – Cabinet Office or wherever – to establish what the facts were and in the light of the facts decide the best course of action,” she said.
Downing Street has said Mr Huhne still has Mr Cameron’s “full confidence”, but public support for the Energy Secretary has been only lukewarm.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the police investigation should be allowed to run its course. But asked whether Mr Huhne should stand down from the Government in order to clear his name, he said that was up to him to decide.
“In the media those things are being questioned, but the police are looking into it and so what can we do? We have to let that process take place,” he told Sky News’s Murnaghan programme. “It’s his decision.”
A photograph of Ms Pryce’s licence in The Mail on Sunday showed a single, three-point fixed penalty offence for speeding on March 12, 2003 – the date Mr Huhne’s car is alleged to have been caught by a speed camera.