Eastleigh MP and former energy secretary Chris Huhne made his first appearance in crown court today accused of perverting the course of justice.

Huhne allegedly persuaded ex-wife Vicky Pryce to take his penalty points for a speeding offence almost a decade ago.

Ms Pryce, 59, listed by her Greek forename Vasiliki, is expected to appear alongside him accused of perverting the course of justice by falsely telling police she was driving his car.

Huhne, 57, stood down from the cabinet to fight claims he wrongly told investigators his wife was driving his car.

The pair are on unconditional bail and due to attend Southwark Crown Court.

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.

But accusations of impropriety only emerged in 2010, after the father-of-five admitted an affair with PR adviser Carina Trimingham and ended his 26-year marriage.

The case was adjourned for a trial to be held in October with a plea hearing due to take place in May.