Chris Huhne’s ex-wife denies peverting course of justice

FORMER energy secretary Chris Huhne’s ex-wife has denied perverting the course of justice by taking a speeding penalty for her former husband.

Vicky Pryce, 59, from Clapham, South London, pleaded not guilty yesterday at Southwark Crown Court, where she appeared alongside the former Cabinet minister.

Huhne, 57, did not enter a plea to a similar charge of perverting the course of justice. His arraignment was adjourned for an application to dismiss the charge, the court heard.

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It is alleged Huhne, from Eastleigh, Hants, persuaded Pryce to take his penalty points for a speeding offence almost a decade ago. His ex-wife’s defence will be marital coercion. A provisional trial date has been set for 2 October.

The former couple did not make eye contact with each other during the hearing.

Huhne, who remains the Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire, stood down from the Cabinet to fight the charge that he wrongly claimed his wife was driving his car. The events which led to the charges date back to March 2003.

Accusations of impropriety emerged in 2010, after the father of five admitted an affair with PR adviser Carina Trimingham and ended his 26-year marriage.