Minister ends marriage after 26 years

Chris Huhne says he is leaving his wife after revelations about his relationship with a former assistant
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Indy Politics

The coalition Government suffered a second blow last night as it emerged that a Lib Dem minister has left his wife after admitting he has been having an affair.

The Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Huhne, confirmed he was separating from his wife, Vicky Pryce, after 26 years of marriage following the disclosure that he is in "a serious relationship" with a former assistant, Carina Trimingham.

The announcement came as the News of the World claimed it had witnessed Mr Huhne, 55, and Ms Trimingham, 44, spending the night alone in his constituency home while his wife remained in London.

The details came less than a month after Mr Huhne's party colleague, David Laws, quit the Cabinet after revelations that he had claimed more than £40,000 in expenses to pay rent to his secret partner. Mr Huhne's aides last night made it clear there was no question of him following Mr Laws out of the Government.

Last night Mr Huhne issued a statement saying: "I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimingham and I am separating from my wife." He has been married to Ms Pryce – chief economist at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – since 1984.

Ms Trimingham, a divorced former journalist, is campaigns director of the Electoral Reform Society.

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said last night that Mr Huhne's political future would not be damaged. He added: "It is a personal matter and has got no bearing on his position."