The pending court appearance of Chris Huhne, Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh and former minister, was going to be a much awaited event. Pundits and bloggers had been counting down the days to this month, but in the event, it didn’t happen. The case, where Huhne and former wife Vicky Pryce stand accused of perverting the course of justice, has been adjourned until next year.
This was for “legal reasons”, yet not only was no more specific information given, but the massed ranks of the media apparently did not pursue the matter. It seems strange that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was so sure of its ground as to have both Huhne and Ms Pryce charged, only for some unspecified event to delay matters for another three months.
And then this morning came yet another of those unspecified events: Judge Constance Briscoe was arrested. She is a barrister and part-time recorder. The arrest was carried out by Kent Police, who detained her in south London and later released her on bail pending further enquiries. She has, in the meantime, been suspended from the judiciary.
And, so what? Well, one hates to add two and two knowing that the potential result could be other than four, but Constance Briscoe, as the Telegraph has helpfully pointed out, is a friend of Vicky Pryce, and was interviewed by the Police as part of their investigations into the Huhne case, before the file was passed to the CPS and Huhne and his former wife charged.
She commented “I have been interviewed by the police. I told them what I know. I have nothing to hide. I had a clear duty to tell the police what I knew, and I did”. Now, the cause of Constance Briscoe’s arrest may have nothing at all to do with the Huhne case, but the coincidence is eyebrow raising. Speculation will not be damped down by the lack of any explanation for her being detained.
As for Kent Police being involved, that could merely be the Met and Essex forces asking for a third party force to carry out the investigation. As Private Eye might have observed, “I wonder if the two events are somehow connected? I think we should be told”. And if we aren’t going to be told, well, the information has a habit of getting out, so perhaps the Law can settle the speculation once and for all.
No pressure, Police people.