HAMPSHIRE MP Chris Huhne has today pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The former energy secretary will now face trial over claims he persuaded his former wife to take speeding points on his behalf.

Mr Huhne spoke only to give his plea at a hearing in Southwark Crown Court this morning.

It had been alleged that the Eastleigh MP persuaded his former wife Vicky Pryce to take his penalty points for a speeding offence almost a decade ago.

Huhne, who remains the Lib Dem MP for the town, stood down from Cabinet to fight the charge that he wrongly claimed his wife was driving his car.

Ms Pryce, of Clapham, London, has denied perverting the course of justice.

Listed in court by her Greek forename, she pleaded not guilty last year at Southwark Crown Court.

The events which led to the charges date back to March 2003.

A trial has been listed for Monday.