After the Crown Prosecution Service this morning made the decision to charge Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, with perverting the course of justice; the cabinet member has decided to step down.

Making a brief statement to press, Huhne said he deeply regretted the decision, and maintained his innocence.

“To avoid any distraction, I am standing down and resigning as Energy Secretary. I will continue to serve my constituents in Eastleigh,” he said.

The news, which was widely anticipated, has prompted a mixed reaction from those working in the renewable energy industry.

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins, said: “Chris Huhne has championed the environment in an administration that’s shown little enthusiasm for keeping David Cameron’s pledge to be the greenest Government ever.

“He should be commended for insisting on tougher climate targets and fighting for a Green Investment Bank – but his department’s incompetent handling of solar cuts has put 29,000 jobs at risk.

“Leaving consumers to compare energy tariffs as a way to tackle soaring bills is woefully inadequate. What we really need is decisive Government action to get us off the hook of expensive fossil fuels and invest in clean British energy instead.

“The new Energy Secretary must stand firm against George Osborne’s anti-green agenda and make the case that protecting our environment is a way to boost not hinder our economic recovery.”

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy, said: “Whatever the terms of his departure, few can deny that Chris Huhne has really shaken up the energy debate over the last two years. He has certainly been successful in driving that agenda forward.

“It is vital that his replacement keeps up the momentum behind energy reforms. But that has to be matched with a willingness to listen on things like the need for a more decentralised market. Good Energy looks forward to working with the new Secretary of State to deliver that.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable told the BBC: “I'm very sad. He's a very, very good, effective, colleague in Government.

“I'm sure he will clear his name and we would certainly like to see him back.”

He added: “We have strength in depth, we have other colleagues who will step up to the plate.

“So it shouldn't have any effect on the party but it is certainly a tragedy for him and I think we all feel for him and wish him well.”

Meanwhile the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker, tweeted: “Very sorry to see Chris go. Extremely effective secretary of state…”

Yet, not all sentiments post resignation were positive. In fact, many welcomed the news.

David Hunt, a Director at Eco Environments, tweeted: “A court case too far 4 @ChrisHuhne as I said. Maybe he'll now have time 2 contemplate the jobs & businesses he killed.”

Comments posted on the Solar Power Portal agree that Huhne’s resignation is for the best.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has now confirmed that Liberal Democrat, MP Ed Davey will take Huhne's place.

Daniel Green, CEO at HomeSun, commented: “We are really looking forward to working with Ed Davey and DECC to build a fantastic future for renewables in the UK.”

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