MP calls for jailed ex-wife of Huhne to lose title

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David Cameron was yesterday urged to push for action to strip jailed Vicky Pryce of the Companion of the Order of the Bath.

Labour MP Andrew Gwynne has written to the Prime Minister insisting it is “profoundly unacceptable” for the former wife of former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne to still hold the title.

The honour, given in recognition of service of the highest calibre, was awarded to Ms Pryce in June 2009 while she was director-general economics at the government economic service in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

But her distinguished career as an economist was left in tatters after she was jailed for eight months when a jury found her guilty of perverting the course of justice for taking speeding points for Huhne in 2003.

Mr Gwynne wrote: “The convictions of former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne and former civil servant Vicky Pryce have had no shortage of Press attention; but it has occurred to me that whilst Ms Pryce has rightly been jailed, she continues to hold the title of Companion of the Order of the Bath.

“I would therefore like to ask you to call a meeting of the Honours Forfeiture Committee to consider the case for removing Ms Pryce’s honour.

“I have no doubt that the vast majority of the public will find it profoundly unacceptable that a convicted criminal with such disregard for British justice continues to hold such an illustrious honour. I hope that you will carefully consider my request and agree with me that Ms Pryce’s continued position as a Companion of the Order of the Bath is profoundly unacceptable.”

The decision to revoke titles lays with the Honours Forfeiture Committee, made up of some of the country’s most senior civil servants, which mostly considers cases where an individual has been jailed for more than three months or has been struck off or censured by a professional body for failings relevant to the granting of the honour. Last year it stripped ex-banker Fred Goodwin of his knighthood after guiding RBS to the brink of collapse in 2008.

Mr Gwynne said: “The honours system must not be brought into disrepute by those who break the law, because it is unfair for those law-abiding people who hold honours and continue to serve their communities with diligence and admirable dedication.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister’s views is that it is a matter for the forfeiture committee.”