Vicky Pryce opens up about how she wore electronic tag to Parliament

Vicky Pryce opens up about how she wore an electronic tag to Parliament and how police laughed at finding £1,400 in her handbag after she was found guilty of perverting justice

  • Vicky Pryce, 67, and ex-husband Chris Huhne were each jailed for eight months 
  • The Greek economist took speeding points for former minister Huhne in 2003
  • Ms Pryce revealed she wore a tag to House of Lords after coming out of prison
  • She also recalled police officers finding £1,481 in her handbag after the verdict

Vicky Pryce has opened up about how she wore an electronic tag to Parliament and how police laughed at finding £1,400 in her handbag after she was found guilty of perverting justice.

Ms Pryce, 67, and former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne were each jailed for eight months after they were convicted of perverting the course of justice when she took speeding points for her then-husband in 2003.

The scandal brought about the end of Mr Huhne’s political career, forcing him to stand down as a cabinet minister and later to resign as an MP. 

Greek economist Ms Pryce has now spoken about taking a bus to the House of Lords soon after coming out of prison to give evidence on Europe, while wearing an electronic tag hidden beneath her trousers.

Speaking on Andy Coulson’s Crisis What Crisis? podcast, she revealed: ‘I had already received a letter while I was in prison from the European Sub-Committee at the House of Lords to go and give evidence on Europe, would you believe it, as soon as I come out.  

Vicky Pryce pictured left, arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London in March 2013 and right, giving evidence to a House of Lords inquiry into the Eurozone crisis in the same year

‘I went on the bus wearing my tag, because I was still on curfew for a couple of months, into the House of Lords to give that evidence. All these journalists, who I knew, were there to write about it, and they were sketch writers mainly.

‘Of course what they were trying to do throughout the period that I was speaking and that I was there sitting at the desk alongside some ex-colleagues, friends, other economists, was to see where my tag was, where I was wearing it. 

‘They couldn’t find it, so there were all sorts of assumptions like “perhaps it’s a bracelet” and of course I was hiding it incredibly well because they had been very good when they came with the tag, so it was put on in such a way that the trousers were covering it. It was fine, they were really good about this.’

Ms Pryce also recalled officers lightheartedly joking about a sum of £1,481 being found in her handbag when she first entered prison.

She said: ‘So I was taken down, which was as I said expected anyway, and there they tried to see what I had in my handbag, because obviously I couldn’t take most the things that were in there and my bag was fine with all my clothes it seems – I had taken just the right amount.

‘But my handbag, they had to count all the money that was in it so they could take it away and I could have it at some other stage, and of course I was a complete idiot. 

‘I intended to leave lots of cash for the kids to pay for however many months I was going to be away, and of course I wrote them cheques in the end. All the cash I was taking out of machines constantly at the time, expecting some sort of verdict, I had to leave them some cash, was still in my bag.

‘So they started counting the money and it was so jolly because they were finding an extra 20 quid there and they were calling everyone “come and see how much money we’ve got here” and I was just standing and everyone was laughing.

‘We counted £1,481 in my handbag. I had no idea, and it really was very jolly.’

Chris Huhne, Britain’s former energy secretary, pictured arriving for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice

After a high-profile career with professional services goliath KPMG, Ms Pryce worked as a government advisor before coming unstuck when she lied to the police about taking her former husband’s speeding points.

She was jailed in March 2013. Her trial heard she only revealed she had taken them to exact revenge on her cheating husband and ‘nail him’ after he left her for another woman.

Former Energy Secretary Huhne was clocked driving too fast in March 2003 and persuaded Pryce to take the blame so he could avoid losing his licence.

The couple separated after 26 years of marriage in 2010 after Mr Huhne admitted he was having an affair with his PR adviser Carina Trimingham, 46.

After nearly two years proclaiming his innocence and fighting to have the case dropped, Huhne changed his plea at the start of the pair’s trial at Southwark Crown Court, promptly resigning as Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh and ending his political career.

Ms Pryce – who started her sentence in Holloway, Britain’s toughest women’s jail – was inspired by her experiences to write a book about how and why women end up in prison – and to express her concerns about the way they are treated there.

She embraced prison life, taking part in karaoke and playing bingo for the first time, before being released on a tag. 

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