What I said to Channel 4 News about Chris Huhne

by Stephen Tall on February 3, 2012

I was interviewed today by Sonia Rathwell for Channel 4 News for a profile of now-former Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne. Here’s some of what I said:

It could be said that the former secretary of state for energy and climate change has a rather chilly public persona – but despite something of a “grey man” image, Chris Huhne has a warm, devoted fanbase according to Stephen Tall, the editor of the Lib Dem activists’ newspaper, Lib Dem Voice. … “After the leadership battle, he could have gone away and sulked but he didn’t, he backed Nick Clegg all the way and helped prep Nick for the TV debates. He was also one of four Lib Dems involved in the coalition negotiations,” he said. And Mr Huhne remained a key player in the coalition despite occasional and vocal disagreements with the Tories. …

“He’s the sort of person who has ‘sharp elbows’, which is unusual in the Lib Dems – he’s not afraid to stand up and say what he thinks, which I think is rather a candid way of doing things in contrast with briefing against people behind their backs,” he said. … Mr Tall told Channel 4 News: “He’s never been able to electrify the Lib Dem conference and Chris can’t do jokes or the ‘light and shade’ like Nick Clegg can. He’s not afraid to take prisoners – he’ll say it as he sees it, which has made him some enemies.”

As for what the MP for Eastleigh may do in future, Stephen Tall said he could face yet more battles, something he believes Mr Huhne is likely to relish. “I think he’ll want to continue being active through journalism and interventions on those issues he cares about – the economy and environment in particular. He also faces boundary changes in his Eastleigh constituency, so will want and need to spend some time nursing his seat if he wants to remain in frontline politics, especially after the dark cloud that’s been hovering over him the last few months.”

You can read the full article at the Channel 4 News website here.