Eastleigh MP Denies Penalty Points Claim

Energy Secretary and Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne has dismissed claims that he persuaded somebody else to take speeding penalty points on his behalf in Essex as "simply incorrect''.

The Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister declared that the decision by Essex police to look into the allegations would "draw a line under the matter''.

Downing Street said earlier that Prime Minister David Cameron retained confidence in Mr Huhne.

Mr Huhne told the BBC News Channel that the allegations had been made before "and they've been shown to be untrue, and I very much welcome the referral to the police as it will draw a line under the matter.''

Essex Police said it was reviewing a formal complaint by Labour MP Simon Danczuk before deciding whether to launch a full investigation into the claims.

Allegations surfaced just over a week ago that, in 2003, Mr Huhne asked another person to take his penalty points for a speeding offence.

Newspaper reports have named his estranged wife Vicky Pryce as the person who accepted the points.

The claims date back to the time when Mr Huhne was an MEP before he became the Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh.

He was said to have been facing a driving ban if he clocked up any more points, which would have made it difficult for him to get around at a time when he was hoping to become an MP.

The Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday have published details of what they said was a telephone conversation between Mr Huhne and another person apparently discussing the case.