Are you a moron? Extracts from the taped Pryce-Huhne conversations


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The Independent Online

The jury heard four telephone calls taped by Vicky Pryce (VP) in an apparent attempt to trap her husband into a confession. The following are extracts from 27 minutes of secret recordings between Chris Huhne (CH) and Ms Pryce.

Huhne advises his wife not to speak to the press she says are camped outside her door

VP: There are people outside wanting to know what happened re you making me take the points.

CH: Can I suggest that if you want to avoid journalists door-stepping you, you stop telling ridiculous stories to the press and that’s a very sensible thing.

Ms Pryce responds angrily to suggestions that she made up stories about her taking the points

VP: Why would I tell anyone about me taking your points? It’s not in my interest. Are you a moron?

CH: Well all I suggest is it’s not in anybody’s interest that you should tell nonsense to the papers and I think you should be very cautious about it.

VH: Excuse me what is nonsense? That they (the media) are out there and I might go and tell them nonsense. Can you explain to me what you mean by nonsense? You know full well I took your points.

Huhne denies ever taking the points

VP: They (media) are there and if you like me to I can go and tell them the truth, would you like me to?

CH: You can do whatever you like, but all I’m saying is I’m going to tell them the truth which is of course that I absolutely deny that you ever took the points for me.

VP: You’re gonna tell them you deny that I’ve ever taken your points when somebody clearly told them that I had? When I had absolutely nothing to do with it? Who the f*** told them this? It’s my reputation that’s on the line just as much as yours, can you explain to me who the f*** told them this?

Huhne claims that she is out to destroy his career

CH: I will tell them the truth which is you have been maliciously briefing the press because you told me that you wanted to ruin my political career.

VP: Really, when did I tell you I wanted to ruin your political career? When?

CH: Absolutely fine, I know what you’re up to.

VP: Chris would you like me to tell them that you told me you wanted me to lose my job and you threatened me?

CH: ...not true.

VP: You said to me when we met at the coffee shop, you said to me that you were going to, that I would lose my job because of these supposed stories that are out there about you. You also threatened me to come back.

CH: You are behaving in an entirely unbalanced way.

Ms Pryce bemoans the downfall of their relationship

VP: We used to be husband and wife, I took your points, you know that full well. I am prepared though to lie for you as I have done all along, but they are pressurising me all the fucking time, I can’t even get home without having people outside my fucking door whether it’s to do with your fucking man or whether it’s to do with your fucking points, and it’s got nothing to do with me.

CH: Fine.

Huhne on the tactics of the media

CH: When the (media) ring up and they say we have it on very good authority, we’re going to run this story, yeah crap, all that means is that they are fishing for someone to stand it up and if you don’t give them any comment they won’t, they can’t run it, there’s no story here so all you’ve gotta do, if you want to stay out of papers

VP: You want me to just lie to people basically, like you have done continuously?

CH: You do not have to, anyway you have told various lies to the papers.

VP: Like what? Give me one.

CH: I have a Saturday to get on with, it’s entirely up to you what you do. I think you’re intelligent enough to work out if you don’t want to get into the papers you don’t tell them.

VP: Don’t be ridiculous, you’re the one who lies.

CH: No, bye.

Huhne warns Ms Pryce of the dangers of speaking out about the story

CH: There is no way, look, there is no way that there is any evidence of this story unless you decide to give some legs to it by saying something, okay?

VP: I just cannot lie ‘cause the last thing I want is for it to come out and I’ve actually perjured myself or whatever the f*** it is that you do.

CH: There’s no question of that, okay? The last thing you want to do is have some half-baked story running in The Sunday Times alleging that you’ve taken points for me and then you find that you’re being rung up by the DVLC (DVLA) and getting a policeman asking whether you’ve actually broken the law.

VP: But I know that Chris…it’s one of the things that always worried me when I took them, you made me take them in the first instance.

The couple dispute how the story could get out

CH: I mean this started with (one Sunday paper), so as soon as it's around Fleet Street, there is a whiff of a good story which is that, the story they’re obviously trying to stand up is that ‘Cabinet Minister persuades former wife to take points’. The reality is they are going to attempt to stand it up, the only way they can stand that story up is by either actually the only way they can stand it up is by getting you to talk to them, because there is simply no other person who could possibly tell them whether it’s true or not.

VP: Well, what about somebody close to you because this is how it came they told me it was Carina, I’m not making this up.

CH: Well they tell you terrible lies.

Huhne on his private life

CH: I got rung up two or three weeks before, the precise question of have you now broken up from Carina and that’s completely untrue.

VP: I’m really unhappy, that this isn’t true, I had hoped it was true.

CH: Right, well I’m sorry but journalists often work on complete rumours.

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