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Huhne partner vows to fight on

MP Chris Huhne's partner Carina Trimingham has vowed to fight on in her High Court privacy and harassment action.

The PR adviser had sued Associated Newspapers over 65 articles which appeared after her affair with the former secretary of state for energy and climate change became public in June 2010, with Mr Huhne leaving his wife of 26 years. Associated had fought the case on the basis that there was an important public interest in the story.

Dismissing her claim, Mr Justice Tugendhat said: "Ms Trimingham was not the purely private figure she claims to be. Her reasonable expectation of privacy has become limited.

"This is mainly by reason of her involvement with Mr Huhne, both professionally, as his press agent, and personally as his secret mistress, in circumstances where he campaigned with a leaflet to the electorate of Eastleigh about how much he valued his family.

"But it is also by reason of what she herself has disclosed in the past.

"Further, she was, as the defendant knew, a journalist who had herself disclosed information about other people for publication in the newspapers and so was a person who ought not reasonably to be expected to be distressed when such information was published about herself."

Ms Trimingham, 44, immediately said she would appeal.

"I am extremely disappointed by this judgment. There is a ray of light, however. Thankfully, the court has accepted today that repeated mocking of a person by a national newspaper by reference to their sexual orientation would almost inevitably be so oppressive as to amount to harassment.

"However, the court did not appreciate that when newspapers make repeated irrelevant references to sexuality - particularly in the context of pejorative and stereotypical references to appearance - it amounts to the same type of mocking which the court has confirmed is unacceptable. This is confused, and I think wrong. I am very concerned that this judgment may become a blueprint for bullies and bigots."

A spokesman for Associated Newspapers said later: "We are pleased that the court agreed with us and has today dismissed all of Miss Trimingham's complaints... Miss Trimingham chose to level some very serious charges against our journalists in this case. This judgment vindicates both our journalists and their journalism."

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