February 11, 2013 12:35 pm

Daughter tells court of pressure on Pryce

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The eldest daughter of Vicky Pryce, the former wife of disgraced ex-cabinet minister Chris Huhne, has told a London court that Mr Huhne had been “constantly badgering” his former wife to take speeding points for him.

Ms Pryce, a senior economist, is in the second week of her trial over a charge of perverting the course of justice for taking speeding penalty points for her ex-husband so he could avoid prosecution. Mr Huhne has already pleaded guilty to the charge.

On Monday Georgia Beasley told a jury at Southwark Crown Court that in 2003 she had been told by her mother that Mr Huhne was “very insistent” she took the points for him as Mr Huhne did not want to lose his driving licence.

Ms Beasley told the court that at the time Mr Huhne had to travel regularly to the Eastleigh constituency where he was hoping to be selected as a parliamentary candidate and made it clear to his then wife that it would be “her fault if he did not get elected”.

Ms Beasley, a management consultant, told the jury that her mother “was very upset and angry . . . and did not want to take the points”, adding that Mr Huhne “just went on and on” about the matter.

Ms Beasley told the jury that she advised her mother not to take the points.

“I did not understand the pressures someone could be under in a marriage,” she told the jury, adding that her mother at the time was living with someone “constantly badgering” her to do something she felt was wrong.

Ms Pryce has three children with Mr Huhne. Ms Beasley is one of Ms Pryce’s two daughters by her previous marriage.

Last week Ms Pryce told the jury that she felt she had “no choice” but to sign the penalty points form after she had been summoned by Mr Huhne, who was standing in the hallway of their London home, waving a pen at her to sign the form which she said was “one of my strongest memories” at the time.

Earlier in the trial the jury at Southwark Crown Court heard that Ms Pryce had co-operated with Isabel Oakeshott, Sunday Times political editor, in 2011 in publicising Mr Huhne’s offence, because Ms Pryce felt “voters should know what kind of person he really was”.

Prosecutors have alleged Ms Pryce’s motive in co-operating with the media was motivated by “revenge” and wanting to “nail” her former husband after he left her following his affair with political aide Carina Trimingham in 2010.

Ms Pryce has pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice. She is claiming the special defence of marital coercion, which is only available to wives.

The trial continues.

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