Chris Huhne To Stand Trial On 4 February Over Speeding Points Claim

Former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife are to stand trial next Monday over claims she took speeding points for him so he could avoid prosecution.

Huhne and his former wife Vicky Pryce were both charged last year with perverting the course of justice over the allegation, said to relate to a speeding offence in 2003.

Pryce previously pleaded not guilty on the grounds of marital coercion and Huhne today also entered a not guilty plea to the charge.

Former energy secretary Huhne, 58, from Dutton Lane, Eastleigh, Hants, stood down from the Cabinet following the charge last year, but remained the Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh.

The events which led to the charges date back to March 2003 when Huhne's car was allegedly caught by a speed camera on the motorway between Stansted Airport in Essex and London.

Accusations of impropriety emerged only in 2010 after he had admitted an affair with PR adviser Carina Trimingham and ended his 26-year marriage to Pryce.

It is alleged that between March 12 2003 and May 21 2003, Pryce, 60, of Crescent Grove, Clapham, south London, falsely informed police that she was the driver of the car so Huhne could avoid prosecution.

Both defendants are on bail and their trial at Southwark Crown Court is due to start next Monday.