Vicky Pryce tells court she 'wished she could turn back clock' after Chris Huhne penalty points saga became headline news

 

The ex-wife of disgraced politician Chris Huhne said today that she wished she could have turned the clock back after her account of the penalty points saga became headline news.

Vicky Pryce said that she was “shocked and horrified” when she saw the story in the Sunday Times about the former Energy Secretary passing her his speeding points even though she had been the source of the story which first appeared in May 2011.

"I was a bit shocked and horrified and of course started worrying very significantly about the whole process that led to this article,” she told a jury at Southwark Crown Court. "So in many ways I just wanted to turn the clock back and not have anything to do with it."

Ms Pryce, 60, said that she had not expected the article to have appeared in that form after months of telephone calls, emails and lunch meetings with the political editor of the newspaper, Isabel Oakeshott. She added: "I was quite shocked about the way that the information had come out and I was beginning to feel that actually I had been perhaps manipulated in a way and that things had probably been pushed too far."

Andrew Edis, QC, for the prosecution said: “It was a six-month press campaign designed to ruin him. You had been striking from behind a safe wall so you couldn’t be harmed, that’s true isn’t it?”

Ms Pryce replied: “That’s not true.”

Huhne on Monday pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice signalling the end of his political career – a year after he stepped down from the Cabinet to fight the charges. His former wife accepts she took the points but said she was bullied into signing the form that admitted that she was the driver after her husband called her down to the hallway where he stood with a pen in his hand.

Under cross-examination, Ms Pryce accepted that she had not told police in six interviews over two days about the incident with her husband in the hallway at their Clapham home.

Andrew Edis, QC, counsel for the prosecution, said that she had only raised the issue at the trial so she could claim the defence of “marital coercion”. The defence requires the husband to be present at the time of the crime, he said.

Ms Pryce said: “In fact, it’s probably one of my strongest memories of this whole sad affair, him standing at the hallway table, lots of papers around and the form and being made to sign. I’m afraid it’s absolutely true.”

The court hear that Sir John Scarlett, the former head of MI6, had sent her a letter to her defence team saying that she was a person of integrity. “In our personal contact, I have found her to be exceptionally well informed and of good judgement. I regard her as a person of clear integrity in whom I have confidence,” according to his letter read out to the court.

Ms Pryce, who denies perverting the course of justice, insisted that her family came first despite the firestorm that followed the initial publication of the story but said that she felt “quite ashamed and upset” after the story emerged.

"2010 was a very difficult circumstance when the family had really been torn apart and where the person they were relying on, who was me, was actually very fragile.

"I am not proud of what happened. Now of course I would never ever have gone down that road.”

The case continues.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices