The Lib Dems are facing questions after claims were made that senior party figures were aware that disgraced former minister Chris Huhne had avoided taking speeding points for a motoring offence, before the scandal broke.
Vince Cable and Nick Clegg have both been dragged into the scandal that saw the wife of Mr Huhne found guilty of perverting the course of justice after admitting taking the blame for a driving offence committed by her former MP husband.
However, in a shock move, Vicky Price has claimed that she told senior Lib Dems about the points before the story broke.
On April 9 2011, a month before the story was published, Pryce wrote in an e-mail: "Actually I had told Vince [Cable] and Rachel [his wife] about points before when the three of us were having supper about a month ago — they were horrified at the time but VC has probably forgotten it by now. He was v tired that night.”
She wrote on April 26: "Yes, I have told VC, MiriamC, MOak … and a few other Lib Dem Lords and others working close to NC [Clegg]." Her reference to "MOak" is believed to be Lord Oakeshott, the Lib Dem peer.
However both Mrs Clegg and Dr Cable issued statements refuting Pryce’s claims. "I have never, ever been told by Vicky or anybody else about the traffic points story," Mrs Clegg said. "I got to know about this when everybody else did."
Lord Oakeshott said: "Vicky must have been under a lot of pressure and I’m sure she got that wrong and she never mentioned it to me."