Jane Croft, our law courts correspondent, brings us an interesting side note from yesterday’s (fairly harrowing) evidence session with Vicky Pryce at Southwark crown court.
According to Pryce, when David Laws resigned as Treasury chief secretary just 17 days into the job, Nick Clegg originally approached Huhne to offer him the job.
Huhne, who used to work for ratings agency Fitch, would have been a perfect fit for the role, which he used to cover in opposition. He was also one of the driving forces behind the Lib Dems’ pre-election economic programme, which was finely poised between those of the Tories and Labour.
Huhne asked Pryce, herself an influential economist, for her advice. She told him to turn it down, which he did.
Although there’s certainly no evidence that Huhne would have pursued a different path than Danny Alexander, the man eventually chosen to do the job, he definitely would have had a very different relationship with George Osborne. Where Alexander has forged a very close working relationship with the Tory chancellor, Huhne would have not been afraid to pick a few more fights. It would have made the Treasury a very different department.