Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne is expected to be appointed energy and climate change secretary in a Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, the Daily Echo understands.

Mr Huhne, who is currently the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, is one of a handful of the smaller party's senior figures expected to be given cabinet posts as a way of smoothing the path to creating Britain's first national coalition government since 1945.

The MP's Eastleigh seat was thought to be at risk of being taken by the Conservatives at last Thursday's general election. But in the event the former Lib Dem leadership challenger increased his majority from 568 to 3,864.

Mr Huhne has previously held the position of environment spokesman on the Lib Dem front bench. If confirmed, his new post will see him take charge of the UK's international negotiations on carbon emissions and climate change and policy on renewable and nuclear energy.