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Huhne's ex-wife in court

Disgraced MP Chris Huhne's ex-wife confided in a political journalist over lunch about how he had got her to take his speeding points years before, a court heard today.

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Pryce: Huhne pressured me to take points

Vicky Pryce Credit: PA

Chris Huhne's ex-wife Vicky Pryce has told a court how her husband asked her to take his speeding points.

In 2003, when Huhne's car was clocked speeding, she said he nominated her as the driver without consulting her, and then pressured her to sign the form saying she was the driver.

He was keen to avoid losing his licence because it would affect his chances of being nominated as the prospective parliamentary candidate, she said, and asked her to take the points.

"I knew, of course, immediately that I had not driven the car and, of course, had not incurred the penalty," she said.

"But also I resisted. I had absolutely no wish to take on his points because I knew full well he was a very, very fast driver and very often ignored speed limits and had brought it on himself."

She said they argued for "a number of days" about the issue, but then it "went quiet".

Pryce, wearing a dark skirt and black jacket, said: "A little while later I received an envelope addressed to me which I opened and it looked as if suddenly these points were addressed to me as the person who had been nominated as the driver of that vehicle.

"I exploded," she said, and added that she probably swore, saying: "What is going on?"

"I said 'I am not doing this, I am not signing anything, these are not my points."

After leaving the letter in their hallway, a few days later she said she was called downstairs.

"My husband was standing by the form which actually I had just left and abandoned myself on the table, maybe a couple of days earlier, with a pen in his hand, saying 'You have absolutely got to sign that. If you don't, the implications will be considerable'.

"'It's ridiculous you're not signing it, just sign here'."

Pryce said her name was already filled in and she just had to sign at the bottom.

She told the jury: "I had no choice at the time because he was standing there saying 'This is it, this is the nomination form, you have got to sign this now'.

"I looked at this and realised I had absolutely no choice. I was already nominated.

"It looked like a complete fait accompli for me and for him.

"I had been worn down over a period of time and it looked to me like it was the only thing I could possibly do.

"It didn't look to me like I had any choice at all in the matter so I took this pen and signed, protesting all the time, but I did it."

Pryce is giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court, in London, where she denies perverting the course of justice by accepting Huhne's speeding points in 2003.

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