The political editor of the Sunday Times will give evidence today at the trial of Chris Huhne's ex-wife, who is accused of perverting the course of justice by taking his speeding points a decade ago.

Isabel Oakeshott helped Vicky Pryce reveal the crime in newspaper stories in 2011, after former Eastleigh MP Huhne left her for his PR adviser the previous year.

Former Cabinet minister Huhne ended his political career when he finally pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice on Monday - after repeatedly lying about the points swapping in March 2003.

Pryce, 60, of Crescent Grove, Clapham, south London, still denies the charge, and is using a legal defence of marital coercion.


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Her trial at Southwark Crown Court in London has heard how she revealed the points swapping to newspapers some seven years after it happened in a bid to get revenge on Huhne for leaving her.

Ms Oakeshott is expected to give evidence about emails between her and Pryce, read to the jury on Monday, in which they discussed how the story could be published and end Huhne's career.

Pryce had spoken earlier to the Mail on Sunday about the scandal but they had decided not to publish it, the court heard.

In the email exchange from March 1, 2011, Ms Oakeshott suggested a number of pieces run in the Sunday Times, writing: ''This is what I strongly recommend you do, given your dual objectives of bringing Chris down, if you can, without seriously damaging your own reputation in the process.''

In a later email she warned Pryce of the danger of facing criminal proceedings if she did reveal that she took Huhne's penalty points, and that the newspaper was discussing the issue.

The economist wrote: ''I would need some reassurance that it would bring Chris down.''

Later she added: ''I have no doubt, as I really want to nail him. More than ever actually, and I would love to do it soon.''

Ms Oakeshott later replied: ''The bottom line is that this story will bring Chris down if you are prepared to go on the record, with the minor risk this carries.

''I think you can make yourself out to be very much the honourable one, saying it has very much been on your conscience ever since, saying you knew it was wrong but you were bullied into it.''

Jurors also heard four calls Pryce made to Huhne around April 2011, which were recorded in a bid to get some proof for the story.

She repeatedly asked Huhne to confirm she had taken his points, but the attempt to record his confession failed as he denied it.

The now-former MP also advised her not to speak to journalists, including Ms Oakeshott, saying: ''She can only bring you down with something.

''There is no upside to talking to her from your point of view. There is only a potential downside.''

 Date set for Eastleigh by election

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