Village People: Chris and Vicky: the marriage crisis that turned into a conference drama

At the party conferences...
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Indy Politics

The on-going soap opera of the week has been the saga of Chris Huhne and the former and current Mrs Huhnes. On Wednesday night in an apparent act of contrition, the Energy Secretary rather inappropriately opened up in a fringe meeting to describe his acrimonious break-up with his former wife Vicky Price, describing it as "an appalling set of circumstances".

"I personally feel enormously regretful about what I put my family through and what happened with Vicky," he told the crowd of activists.

But if Mr Huhne thought that was going to smooth things over he was wrong. Yesterday Ms Price moved to pour another bucket load of oil on the already stormy waters.

In a statement issued through her solicitor, Ms Pryce said she was "concerned" that her ex-husband thought it appropriate to discuss her private affairs at a public meeting. She described the Energy Secretary's comments at the conference in Birmingham – which she was also attending – as "a serious intrusion into mine and our family's private life".

"I am surprised that my ex-husband considers it appropriate to talk at a public meeting about the very private aspects of our family life."

Word is that Ms Pryce is looking to torture her former husband a little bit more by securing selection for a safe Lib Dem seat (if that's not an oxymoron). At the same time the current Ms Huhne, otherwise known as Carina Trimingham, is looking for work, having left the Electoral Reform Society following the disastrous AV referendum next year.

A suggestion: perhaps they could both solve their problems by following in the pioneering footsteps of Sally Bercow and signing up for the next year's Celebrity Big Brother.

Money and voter familiarity – surely a winning combination.

Never too old for this party

The Lib Dems might be in good spirits this week but it would be remiss of Village People not

to point out that they are all looking that little bit older.

There was a time when Vince and Paddy were genuinely elder statesmen among a sea of vibrant student activists. Sadly not any more.

The tuition fees debacle means the party is no longer the darling of the young and it is ageing fast. Maybe they need to begin looking again at Sure Start funding.

Boring? Never. I'm just resting my eyes

Cameras may have shown the right demographic mix of Lib Dems behind Nick Clegg in his conference speech. But it was a rather different picture in the hall: a significant number of empty seats and a rather elderly audience. Wonder what happened to the Lib Dem student wing?

Playing away? Not at this conference...

The columnist Andrew Rawnsley tweeted this morning: "Selected moments from The Observer Conference Interview with Chris Huhne can be found here." So we dutifully clicked on the link only to find another link that led to an article called "playing away". Harsh.

(Disturbing) image of the week

Nick Clegg is getting more Tony Blair by the day. He has resorted to the Blairite tactic of scolding his party faithful during question-and-answer sessions and now he's taken to briefing his aides early in the morning while wearing nothing but his underpants.