Vicky Pryce-Chris Huhne phone call transcripts released
- 7 February 2013
- From the section UK
Phone conversations between Vicky Pryce and her ex-husband Chris Huhne have been heard by a jury at Southwark Crown Court during her trial on a charge of perverting the course of justice.
Ms Pryce, who denies the offence, recorded the calls with the help of Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott around April 2011, as she tried to get the former MP to admit points-swapping for a speeding offence from 2003.
Huhne did not admit to the offence in the calls but on Monday he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and resigned as an MP.
In an audio of the first conversation, which was released publicly on Thursday, Ms Pryce complains about journalists outside her house.
This prompts Huhne to say: "Can I suggest if you want to stop journalists door-stepping you, you stop telling ridiculous stories to the press."
Ms Pryce says she is "talking about you... making me take your points," but Huhne replies he had "no intention of going on with this nonsense".
In a second call, she again is heard to be seeking a confession from Huhne, who himself appears to be accusing her of going to the press with the story.
"It is not in anyone's interests that you should tell nonsense to the papers," he says.
MS Pryce then insists: "You know full well that I took your points" but Huhne does not confirm her claims.
As the exchange continues, the conversation becomes more heated.
The jury has been told Ms Pryce passed the story about his speeding offence to the press as she wanted to "destroy" his career after he left her.
Ms Pryce uses several expletives during the phone conversation and describes Carina Trimingham, the woman Huhne had an extra-marital affair with, as a "man".
Former journalist Huhne goes on to address the allegation of points-swapping directly when he says: "For heavens sake, I absolutely deny you took my points" and he suggests that reporters' may just be trying to "stand up a ludicrous story".
But Ms Pryce says "the entire family" knew she had taken the points, and threatened to tell journalists the "truth".
Huhne goes on to claim that Ms Pryce was "maliciously briefing the press... because you told me you wanted to ruin my political career".
In another conversation, Huhne advised Ms Pryce not to take calls from Ms Oakeshott, saying: "They have no story and they cannot have a story unless you give it to them. There's no reason for you to give them a story because it isn't true."
He told Ms Pryce not to tell "false stories" and compared the situation to "rubbing Aladdin's lamp".
"It's very, very simple, if you don't want to appear in the newspapers, don't talk to journalists," he said
In a fourth call, Huhne said he refused to get embroiled in conversations with journalists because things could get "twisted".
Ms Pryce expresses concerns about compromising herself if the truth ever comes out, saying, "I have to be careful because the last thing I want to do is for it to come out and I have actually perjured myself or whatever..."
This prompts Huhne to warn her that she could find herself being contacted by the DVLA or the police if a "half-baked" story appears.
Ms Pryce replies: "It's one of the things that's always worried me when you made me take them in the first instance."
Hunhe, who repeats earlier offers to meet Ms Pryce in person to talk, continues to insist the allegation is "simply not true".