POLITICS

Lib Dem Leadership Deny Chris Huhne Speeding Points Cover-Up

07/03/2013 15:37 GMT | Updated 08/03/2013 12:39 GMT

Senior Liberal Democrats have denied they knew about the allegation Chris Huhne had asked his wife, Vicky Pryce, to accept speeding points on his behalf before it was made public.

On Thursday afternoon the former energy secretary's ex-wife was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by taking his points in 2003. Pryce had argued she was innocent on the basis she was coerced into the offence by her then husband - however a jury unanimously found her guilty.

Huhne himself pleaded guilty last month to perverting the course of justice by passing his points, ending his political career.

Both now face jail.

In previously unreleased emails Pryce sent to The Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott, who was working on the story exposing Huhne, the then government economist claimed she had told Vince Cable, Nick Clegg's wife Miriam González Durántez and "others working close" to the Lib Dem leader about the scandal.

However the Lib Dem leadership has been quick to dismiss Pryce's claims. Cable said Vicky, a friend of his, had not told him Huhne had asked her to accept speeding points.

In a statement the business secretary said: Vince and Rachel [Cable's wife] have no recollection of the issue of points being raised with them over the course of dinner with Vicky Price on 28 January 2011.

"They have consulted their personal records which confirm that the issue first came to their attention in May 2011 when the story broke in the press."

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González Durántez insisted: "I have never ever been told by Vicky or anybody else about the traffic points story. I got to know about this when everybody else did."

And Lord Oakeshott, a Lib Dem peer and close ally of Cable, also denied having been told about the points swap. "Vicky must have been under great pressure but I am sure she never raised a question of points with me," he said.