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Huhne scandal judge stripped of honorary degree by University of Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Disgraced judge Constance Briscoe has been stripped of her honorary degree by the University of Wolverhampton.

It comes just days after she was removed from the judiciary after being jailed for her part in the speeding points scandal that saw former Liberal Democrat minister Chris Huhne and his estranged wife sent to prison.

The university confirmed it was considering stripping Briscoe of the award in May and has now revealed it did go ahead with the removal.

Professor Ann Holmes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: "The University of Wolverhampton's nominations committee has revoked Constance Briscoe's honorary award, as we take the award of honorary degrees very seriously."

Briscoe was jailed for 16 months in May after being convicted of three counts of trying to pervert the course of justice over the investigation into how disgraced MP and former energy secretary Huhne passed speeding points to his then-wife Vicky Pryce a decade earlier.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said Briscoe had been removed from judicial office this week.

The 57-year-old, who was one of the first black women to sit as a judge in the UK, was jailed for twice the amount of time handed to Huhne and Pryce, after it emerged that she had helped economist Pryce, a friend and also her neighbour, to reveal information about Huhne's points-swapping to newspapers after the couple split in 2010.

Details of the lawyer's Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in 2011 from Wolverhampton were removed from the university's website after her conviction.

Briscoe got the degree for her 'outstanding contribution to the law profession and as an inspirational role model'.

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But Gavin Williamson, Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, said it was right that the university had removed it from her.

"When someone is given an honorary degree it is exactly that - an honour and a privilege.

"This degree was awarded because at the time Constance Briscoe was a leading light in the legal profession.

"Due to the nature of her conviction it would have been very odd for her to have continued to hold such a prestigious honour.

"So I think most people will agree with the university's decision to remove it given the circumstances."

When she was awarded the degree, Briscoe said: "I am deeply honoured to have received this award. This is in fact the first time that I have attended a graduation ceremony. I would very much like to play an active part in whatever capacity I can to promote the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications and I am particularly keen to meet and actively engage with the law department."

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