Disgraced ex-Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne repeated apologies for his wrongdoing today, saying that prison had been a ‘humbling and sobering experience.’
The 58-year-old former Cabinet minister was released from jail this morning after serving 62 days of an eight-month sentence for perverting the course of justice.
The former energy secretary arrived back at the home he shares with his partner, PR adviser Carina Trimingham, in Clerkenwell, central London, after being driven out of Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire.
Speaking outside the couple’s flat, with Ms Trimingham by his side, Mr Huhne told gathered reporters to “calm down”, before saying: “I would just like to say once again, as you know from the night I was sentenced, I said that I was very sorry for what I had done. It has been a humbling and sobering experience.
“I would like to thank all of those who have written to me - hundreds of letters that I have had - and all my family and friends who stood by me.
“And I would also just remind you that I have served only part of my sentence and therefore it is not appropriate to say more.
“I would now like to get on, get back to home, and continue with my life. Thank you for coming.”
Huhne was jailed for eight months in March, alongside ex-wife Vicky Pryce, after finally admitted passing speeding points to her a decade ago.
The shamed former MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire, who once aspired to be Liberal Democrat leader, had staunchly denied the allegations and battled for the case to be thrown out, before finally pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice on the first day of their trial in February.
Both he and his former wife were released today, but will have to wear electronic tags.
Huhne, a former energy secretary and once-aspiring Liberal Democrat leader, left Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire by the main entrance in the back seat of a silver Honda, making no attempt to avoid waiting media cameras.
His ex-wife, economist Vicky Pryce, earlier emerged from East Sutton Park Prison near Maidstone, Kent, via a back exit and left with her solicitor Robert Brown, pursued by press photographers who been camped outside the Category D open jail for women and young offenders.
Huhne will return to the London home he shares with PR adviser Carina Trimingham.
The former Eastleigh MP left Pryce in 2010 as his affair with Ms Trimingham was about to be exposed, ending his 26-year marriage to Pryce and leading her to reveal the speeding points swap to newspapers in a bid to “nail” him.
Pryce is expected to return to her home in Clapham, south London.
The former couple were each handed eight-month prison sentences on March 11 for perverting the course of justice a decade ago when Pryce took speeding points for her then husband.
Huhne finally pleaded guilty to the offence on the first day of their trial in February after months of staunch denials and several attempts to get the case thrown out, while Pryce was later convicted by a jury after a retrial at Southwark Crown Court when her defence of marital coercion failed.
Both will now have to wear electronic tags, used to enforce either a timed curfew or a place of residence, as a condition of their early release.
For sentences of less than a year, an offender is automatically released after serving half of their sentence.
In addition, offenders serving sentences of between three months and four years, with certain exceptions for violent and sexual offenders, may also be eligible for release on a home detention curfew (HDC).
This allows an offender to be released up to 135 days before their automatic release date.