Blog: Sometimes crime does pay…

It’s been three months since he’s stepped out of prison and he’s already landed a high-profile public job. Yes, I’m referring to none other than the infamous and disgraced former […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

It’s been three months since he’s stepped out of prison and he’s already landed a high-profile public job.

Yes, I’m referring to none other than the infamous and disgraced former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.

He committed a crime back in 2003 when his now ex-wife Vicky Pryce took speeding points for him in fear he would be banned from driving – and repeatedly lied about what happened.

Cutting a long story short, he was sentenced to eight months in prison along with his ex-wife for her part in the deception but was released after just eight weeks (a surprise or maybe that was expected for a “privileged” offender?). He has since landed what is reportedly a £100,000 job for two days a week at a biomass energy company in the US.

Now what I find amusing is that the firm’s website showers praise on him, with his biography mentioning his achievements whilst in UK Parliament and also referring to him as “one of the pioneers in calling for political action to deal with global warming”.

It, however, fails to acknowledge the one big event in his life that sent him tumbling from grace and led to the downfall of that very political career.

Mr Huhne described his jail sentence as a “humbling and sobering experience” and it seems the Committee that advises the Prime Minister on new jobs for former ministers thinks he’s a changed man as they gave the ex-Energy Secretary the green light to apply for a job.

Some have referred to it as the “revolving door syndrome” and questioned whether the rules and regulations currently in place are strong enough.

He was the Energy Secretary until last year which means he had access to official Government documents and information. He also met with the US energy firm he’s now joined, during his last two years in office although the meeting was to brief officials and “did not include any request for finance or policy exchange”.

Now I wouldn’t be able to think of many “ordinary” people landing a decent job soon after leaving prison following a criminal conviction, let alone it being worth thousands of pounds. Maybe Mr Huhne’s privileged Oxford-educated background and his political “achievements” helped him. Who knows?

With Tim Yeo now facing allegations about his closeness to energy companies while in office, the fact Mr Huhne has landed a job with a firm he knew whilst in Government must get you thinking that there’s something not quite right about the whole thing.

Government is supposed to be for the people not for the pocket…