Chris Huhne's downfall: Trust in British public life takes a hit

Chris Huhne has never shied away from political controversy - but it was his desperation to avoid a speeding ban that resulted in the undoing of his career.

The Liberal Democrats say he intends to voluntarily remove himself from the Privy Council - which gives him the title "Right Honourable".

One year ago he stood outside his flat and declared: "I am innocent of these charges."

Today he admitted he was not.

It is the kind of fall from grace that seems only possible at Westminster. Politicians have no monopoly on deceit. And yet often their lie is larger and lasts for longer.

It is as if some politicians seem so full of hubris they cannot resist flying so close to the sun and then seem surprised when, like Icarus, they fall to the ground.

Huhne's name will now be added to that list of John Profumo, Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer, politicians all brought down by their ability to lie to Parliament or the courts.

We still remember Jonathan Aitken's promise to use the simple sword of truth and trusty shield of British fair play before he was jailed for perjury.

Some Lib Dems say Huhne should not be written off. They talk of comebacks.

Maybe. But one thing is certain: trust in British public life took a hit today.

Voters often say politicians lie. Today they were right.

James Landale Article written by James Landale James Landale Deputy political editor

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