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Vicky Pryce returns to economics role to advise Cable

Vicky Pryce has resumed her role as a Government economics adviser after serving a jail term for swapping speeding points with her former husband Chris Huhne.

The former civil servant is attending meetings of Business Secretary Vince Cable's panel monitoring the performance of UK plc.

Vicky Pryce, who was jailed for swapping speeding points with ex-husband Chris Huhne, has resumed her role as an economics adviser. Credit: PA Wire

A source close to Mr Cable stressed the role was unpaid, insisting Ms Pryce's conviction was not relevant to her economics expertise.

"She has now resumed her unpaid position as part of this panel after serving her sentence, which in no way brought into question her ability or judgment as an economist," the source said.

Since her release last May, Pryce - a long-standing friend of Mr Cable and his wife - has written a book about her experiences in prison.

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Vicky Pryce: Female prisoners have 'special needs'

Economist Vicky Pryce, who spent two months in prison earlier this year, has said that women behind bars have "special needs".

She said it was not a case of making prison "softer" for female offenders, but of minimising the wider impact and costs on society.

Pryce was sentenced to eight months in prison in March for perverting the course of justice by taking speeding points for her former husband Chris Huhne in 2003.

Watch: Vicky Pryce: UK prison system not fit for purpose

Read: Vicky Pryce: Prison had a 'positive' effect

Vicky Pryce: UK prison system not fit for purpose

Vicky Pryce, the former wife of disgraced cabinet minister Chris Huhne, has told ITV News she believes the UK prison system is not fit for purpose.

The economist was speaking following her own spell behind bars for taking her ex-husband's speeding points.

Ms Pryce spoke to ITV News political correspondent Romilly Weeks:

More: Vicky Pryce: Prison had a positive effect, not a lasting, negative impact

Vicky Pryce urges 'different approach' over drugs

Vicky Pryce, who was jailed for swapping speeding points with ex-husband Chris Huhne, has called for a "different approach" to tackle drug-related crime - although she fell short of calling for decriminalisation.

Ms Pryce, who was speaking at an event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival to promote her new book Prisonomics, said that helping addicts stay off drugs was better than imprisonment.

Close up of Vicky Pryce.
Vicky Pryce called for a 'different approach' to tackle drug-related crime. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

She told the audience: "On the decriminalisation of drugs ... evidence-based policy, absolutely. Obviously the decriminalisation of some types of drugs would help.

"Prison has given them nothing at all to help them - quite the opposite. So a different type of approach to people taking drugs is the thing that we absolutely need."

Read: Cannabis 'may be legalised' in Lib Dem shake-up

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Pryce joins fellow dignitaries stripped of title

By being stripped of her official honour Vicky Pryce becomes the latest entry on a list of dignitaries who have had their title revoked. The list includes:

  • Banker Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood last year after leaving the Royal Bank of Scotland teetering on the brink of collapse and needing a taxpayer-funded rescue.
  • Ruler of communist Romania Nicolae Ceausescu was made an honorary knight of the Order of Bath during a visit to Britain in 1978. His knighthood was revoked the day before his execution by a revolutionary firing squad in 1989.
  • Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood in 2008 over his "abuse of human rights" and "abject disregard" for democracy. The Queen approved the annulment on the recommendation of then foreign secretary David Miliband.

Honour stripped if holder 'brings system into disrepute'

The forfeiture committee can strip an individual of their honour for a number of reasons, should an application to revoke be sent to them, but considers cases where the holder has "brought the honours system into disrepute", according to the cabinet office.

Honours can be cancelled if an individual:

  • Has been found guilty by the Courts of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than three months; or
  • Has been censured/struck off etc by the relevant Regulatory Authority or Professional Body for actions or failures to act which are directly relevant to the granting of the Honour

The committee is not restricted to these two criteria, as the Cabinet Office explains:

Any case can be considered where there is other evidence to suggest that the retention of an honour would bring the honours system into disrepute.

Pryce jailed in March for swapping speeding points

Vicky Pryce pictured after being released from prison in May. Credit: PA

In March Vicky Pryce and ex-husband Chris Huhne were both jailed for eight months for swapping speeding penalty points so he could avoid a driving ban.

Mr Huhne resigned from the Cabinet when he was charged with perverting the course of justice, and later quit as a Liberal Democrat MP and privy councillor.

Vicky Pryce stripped of royal honour

Vicky Pryce has had her appointment as a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) revoked by the honours forfeiture committee.

Economist Vicky Pryce has had her appointment as a Companion of the Order of Bath revoked.
Economist Vicky Pryce has had her appointment as a Companion of the Order of Bath revoked. Credit: Press Association

She was awarded the accolade in 2009 Birthday honours or her services to economics as Director-General as what was the government's Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) - now called the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

A Companion of the Order of the Bath is the equivalent of a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

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