Huhne’s early career was as an economic journalist serving on the Guardian and the Economist. He joined the SDP and contested several constituencies before being elected to the European Parliament in 1999. After serving one term, Huhne was selected to fight Eastleigh following the decision of the siting Liberal Democrat MP David Chidgey to retire. Huhne held the seat at the 2005 general election. Huhne contested the party leadership twice in 2006 and 2007 finishing as runner up on both occasions, the latter by the agonisingly close margin of 511 votes. With the formation of the coalition government Huhne entered the cabinet as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, however, in February 2012, Huhne was charged with perverting the course of justice over penalty points on his driving licence. He resigned from the cabinet and later as an MP. In March 2013 having pleaded guilty Huhne was sentenced to eight months imprisonment. He was released in May 2013 and now runs his own consultancy business.