MPs from across the area have welcomed Chris Huhne’s decision to step down from the cabinet after he was charged with perverting the course of justice.
Mr Huhne, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh, was yesterday charged over allegations that he asked his ex-wife to accept a speeding penalty for him.
His ex-wife Vicky Pryce faces the same charge.
Mr Huhne then announced his decision to resign as energy and climate change secretary.
In a statement Mr Huhne, whose constituency takes in Hamble and Bursledon, said: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service’s decision is deeply regrettable.
‘I am innocent of these charges and I intend to fight this in the courts and I am confident that a jury will agree.
‘So as to avoid distraction to either my official duties or my trial defence I am standing down and resigning as energy and climate change secretary.
‘I will, of course, continue to serve my constituents in Eastleigh.’
George Hollingbery, conservative MP for Meon Valley, said he feels Mr Huhne had made the right decision in resigning.
‘I think it’s absolutely right that he’s done it,’ he said.
But Mr Hollingbery added that it’s Mr Huhne’s decision whether he continues in his role as an MP.
‘Only he will know whether it’s the right thing to do or not,’ he said.
Caroline Dinenage, Tory MP for Gosport, added: ‘I think it was the right thing to do.
‘Anything like this is a distraction from him doing his job.
‘In the light of everything that’s happened it’s a good thing for him to step down.’
David Willetts, Tory MP for Havant, added: ‘I fully understand the reasons why he took the decision to step down from the cabinet.
‘But he is entitled to a fair trial. As no offence has been proven I don’t think any other matter arises.’
The House of Commons has confirmed that Mr Huhne can carry on with his duties as an MP.