Clegg’s wife ‘sides against Huhne’

By staff

Nick Clegg's wife offered Vicky Pryce a place to stay after she discovered she will face charges alongside her former husband Chris Huhne, according to a report.

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez reportedly told Ms Pryce after Friday's announcement from the Crown Prosecution Service that she will also be charged with perverting the course of justice: "If you need somewhere to stay, if the kids need support, we're here."

The Mail on Sunday reported that the Liberal Democrats faced a schism over the speeding courts scandal as the court case between Mr Huhne and his former wife plays out over the coming months.

Yesterday evening saw a party hosted by Ms Pryce at which supporters rallied to her cause. She has alleged that Mr Huhne had asked her in 2003 to accept speeding points he was responsible for.

Mr Huhne can count on support from Lib Dem party president Tim Farron, however. He praised the energy and climate change secretary for being an "outstanding performer" in government.

Mr Farron told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show he viewed Mr Huhne as "the most successful energy and climate change secretary we've ever had" – a deceptively impressive accolade, as Labour leader Ed Miliband was the only other holder of the post before Mr Huhne.

Friends of the Earth said his record in the job had been a "mixed bag", but praised him for convincing the government to accept tougher climate change targets and being a firm backer of a green investment bank.

Meanwhile Mr Huhne and Ms Pryce will appear at Westminster magistrates court at the beginning of what is effectively a fight for the former's political career.

Bookmakers William Hill is offering 3/1 on Mr Huhne being recalled to the Cabinet before the next general election.