Published:

15 comments

This is the transcript of questions put by BBC1's Jon Sopel to Chris Huhne on lunchtime's BBC Politics Show. The Climate Change Secretary admits secret briefing against the Home Secretary Theresa May. This, it appears, he has done without consequence.

"JS: I’ve got to put to you Tweetgate now. You tweeted on Friday by mistake didn’t you? You were trying to send a direct message and you said as long as it’s from someone else fine, but I do not want my fingerprints on the story. C. What were you talking about?

CH: This is a ludicrous thing. I’ve apologised to the Home Secretary because what happened is I arrived in my constituency on Friday morning and we have an Eastleigh News website, I usually check what’s going on and on the Eastleigh News website is a recording of Theresa May, a recording from a few months previously of the leader of the UK Independent Party, Nigel Farage and it’s exactly the same and I frankly thought it was so  funny that when a journalist friend wrote – rang me and I told them about it they said they’d write the story and they wanted to know whether I wanted to comment on it and I said no I didn’t  want to comment on  it. But that was all it was but I’ve apologised to the Home Sec but it was a public matter. It was already out on the Eastleigh News website and I’m people are now going to be looking at the Eastleigh News website on a scale that they’ve never done before."

So a confession but a full confession? Jon Sopel probes Huhne further…


"Jon: Fantastic. Good for the Eastleigh Weekly News. I want to deconstruct it just a tiny bit more. Saturday’s Guardian there is this report about that it came from a UKIP speech but on the version that they put on the website, the Guardian on Friday evening, it quotes, which is not in the Saturday printed article, one government member said, ‘not only has Miss May been caught out making up stories about the Human Rights Act for cheap laughs .. she’s been plagiarising her clap lines from the UK Independence Party.’ That was you, wasn’t it?

CH: No, it wasn’t me.

Jon: That wasn’t you?

CH: No, it really wasn’t me.

Jon: So bizarrely we get so this is the story you comment on.

CH: As you know perfectly well amazingly journalists and I spent a long time as a journalist myself, amazingly journalists are occasionally able to talk to more than one person when they write a story.

Jon: I know but it’s weird, the coincidence where you mistake the tweet about this I don’t want my fingerprints on the story, it appears on the website and then disappears in the Saturday edition of the paper.

CH: No, I am saying very clearly that I do not want to make a comment on this. I completely confess and I own up and I’ve apologised to Teresa May that I did draw attention to this public matter on a local website  to the Guardian journalist when he rang me up. The rest of it I’m afraid that’s between the Guardian journalist and whoever it came from.

Jon: And it wasn’t from someone in your office

CH: NO.

Jon: Like Calamity Clegg or something like that?

CH: No.

Jon: No, definitely?

CH: Definitely not.

Jon: Right, okay fine. What was Theresa’s May reaction?

CH: Well I’ve left a message for her and I haven’t manage to speak to her but I left a message on her voice mail."

15 comments for: Talking to the BBC’s Jon Sopel, Chris Huhne admits briefing against Theresa May… but has he told the whole truth?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.