Pressure mounts on Huhne as wife's driving license details published

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Pressure on Cabinet minister Chris Huhne intensified today with the publication of details of his former wife's driving licence.

The Energy Secretary is due to be interviewed this week by Essex Police over allegations he persuaded his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, to accept speeding penalty points on his behalf in order to escape a driving ban.

The Mail on Sunday has now published a photograph of Ms Pryce's licence showing a single, three-point fixed penalty offence for speeding on March 12 2003 - the date Mr Huhne's car is alleged to have been caught by a speed camera.

Mr Huhne, who was an MEP at the time, has denied claims that he was actually driving and that Ms Pryce admitted the offence as he faced a ban if he collected any more points.

It is alleged that he was returning from Stansted Airport to his home in Clapham, south London, having flown in from Strasbourg where the European Parliament sits.

Ms Pryce's licence is marked with the court code 1629, which, the newspaper said, shows that the offence was dealt with by Southend Magistrates' Court in Essex which covers the road network between Stansted and London.

The licence does not show the the time of day the offence occurred. However it is reported that Ms Pryce spent much of the day in central London - attending a conference in the morning and an event at the London School of Economics where she stayed for a dinner until after 10pm.

Last week the same newspaper, together with The Sunday Times, published details of what was said to be a taped telephone conversation between Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce - who divorced earlier this year after he left her for another woman - apparently discussing the case.

Mr Huhne was reportedly urging her not to talk to journalists about the allegations, saying that there was no evidence to support the story "unless you give it some legs by saying something".

Aides to Mr Huhne refused to comment on fresh claims in The Sunday Times that he was set to tell detectives that he could not say "definitely" that he was not driving as he could not remember what he was doing on the day.

Meanwhile he has faced further embarrassment with the disclosure that two former Lib Dem party members in his Eastleigh constituency have made a complaint to the Electoral Commission that he made a false declaration of his general election expenses. He again denies the allegation.

Asked whether Mr Huhne should stand down from the Government in order to clear his name, Foreign Secretary William Hague said that was up to him to decide.

"In the media those things are being questioned, but the police are looking into it and so what can we do? We have to let that process take place," he told Sky News's Murnaghan programme. "It's his decision."

Shadow minister Tessa Jowell said that David Cameron should set up an independent investigation to establish what had happened.

"That is what the Prime Minister should be doing," she told Sky News's Murnaghan programme.

"He should be getting a proper investigation independently to establish what the facts were and in the light of the facts decide the best course of action."