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Huhne ex-wife to continue evidence
The ex-wife of former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne is to continue giving evidence at her trial for perverting the course of justice.
Vicky Pryce has claimed in court that the disgraced politician bullied her into taking speeding points for him in 2003, as well as alleging that he once pressured her into having an abortion.
Pryce, 60, denies the charge, using a defence of marital coercion. Her ex-husband resigned as an MP on Monday after pleading guilty to getting her to take the points.
Mother-of-five Pryce told Southwark Crown Court that when she fell pregnant accidentally in 1990 Huhne insisted she have an abortion, saying it was "bad timing, bad financially, bad for his career".
She told the court he previously pressured her into taking his speeding points so he could avoid losing his licence during his bid to be nominated as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Eastleigh, Hampshire.
Athens-born Pryce said that after Huhne's BMW was clocked speeding in March 2003, he nominated her as the driver and when a form arrived, Huhne forced her to sign it. "I had been worn down over a period of time and it looked to me like it was the only thing I could possibly do," she said.
The economist, of Crescent Grove, Clapham, south London, said that some time after the offence she confided in friend Constance Briscoe, a part-time judge, about it.
Pryce told jurors her 26-year marriage to Huhne ended in 2010 after he admitted to an affair with PR adviser Carina Trimingham. With exposure by a newspaper imminent, he confessed, drafted a press statement, then left for the gym, she said.
Just months later, Pryce met Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott at the Liberal Democrat party conference and at lunch with her on March 1 2011 revealed she had been pressured into taking Huhne's points in 2003. The pair planned a story after Pryce voiced her desire to "nail" her ex-husband, but said she was anxious to avoid prosecution.
"Vicky was a very, very hurt woman and she was quite clear that she felt that Chris... did not deserve to be in the position of immense responsibility that he had at that time," Ms Oakeshott said. "I think she felt the voters ought to know the true character of her husband."