British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has resigned after learning he will face criminal charges for allegedly lying to police.
His ex-wife Vicky Pryce is also being taken to court accused of the same thing. It is claimed that in 2003 he asked her to take responsibility for a speeding offence that would have cost him his driving licence.
“We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against both Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce for perverting the course of justice,” said Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer.
Less than an hour after the decision to charge him was made public, Huhne, a Liberal Democrat, hailed for his green credentials, made a short statement.
“I am innocent of these charges and I intend to fight this in the courts and I am confident that a jury will agree,” he said. “So as to avoid any distraction to either my official duties or my trial defence, I am standing down and resigning as Energy and Climate Change Secretary.”
It is not the first fall from grace in Britain’s coalition cabinet. Conservative Liam Fox and fellow Lib Dem David Laws have both quit the government because of scandals since David Cameron took power in May 2010.
Get a different perspective
Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.