A barrister and part-time judge is being investigated for allegedly lying to police about her dealings with the press over Chris Huhne's points-swapping, it can be revealed.
Constance Briscoe was arrested after it emerged that she apparently lied when she told police she had not had any contact with the media about the story, jurors at Vicky Pryce's retrial have been told.
Pryce, 60, of Crescent Grove, Clapham, south London, denies perverting the course of justice by taking speeding points for Huhne in 2003, claiming marital coercion.
The former energy secretary is facing jail after pleading guilty to the offence and will be sentenced after the conclusion of Pryce's retrial, which started on Monday at Southwark Crown Court after a jury last week failed to reach a verdict in her original trial.
The court heard that Ms Briscoe, a friend and neighbour of Huhne's ex-wife Pryce, knew about the points-swapping in 2003 when it happened. Jurors were told that Pryce, helped by Briscoe, leaked the story to the Mail on Sunday to get revenge on Huhne for leaving her for PR adviser Carina Trimingham the previous year.
But Ms Briscoe has not been called as a witness in Pryce's trial, jurors were told, as she is under police investigation and could not be relied on as a "witness of truth".
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said part-time judge Ms Briscoe was a friend and neighbour of Pryce, and the pair got closer when Huhne left Pryce in 2010 because the barrister was going through similar problems.
"The two of them appear to have cooked up a plan to go and see the press about Huhne and taking points," Mr Edis told the court.
He said they met freelance journalist Andrew Alderson, who was taking the story to the Mail on Sunday, in November 2010, telling him that Huhne's constituency aide Jo White had taken points for him.
Mr Edis continued: "The story they were giving the papers was Jo White took points for Huhne when he had nine points. Well, of course, that was a complete lie because the person who took points for Huhne when he had nine points was her [Ms Pryce]."
Emails shown to the jury revealed exchanges between Ms Briscoe, Mr Alderson, and Mail on Sunday news editor David Dillon. On December 10, 2010, Mr Alderson asked Ms Briscoe: "Do we have lift off - ie a statement to the MoS? If so, I suspect he will be an ex minister by Sunday lunch-time..."
But the story did not run, and the court has heard that Pryce went on to tell Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott about the points in March 2011. The story ran in both newspapers on May 8, 2011, and eventually led to the arrest and prosecution of Huhne and Pryce. The case, at Southwark Crown Court, continues.