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Toff loses border skirmish over split

AN ARISTOCRAT has lost a battle to have his estranged wife’s maintenance payments decided in Scotland, rather than England — where he believes she might get a more generous settlement.

Charles Villiers, 54, argued financial arrangements should be settled by courts north of the border that were handling his divorce from Emma (pictured).

But his wife — who moved to England after leaving their home near Dumbarton in 2012 — disagreed. She yesterday won backing from the Court of Appeal, which ruled divorce proceedings in Scotland and a money fight in England were not ‘related actions’.

After quitting seven-bedroom manor Milton House, Mrs Villiers, 58, lived first near Oxford and then in London.

She made a claim against her husband at the High Court, which ordered him to pay her £2,500 a month until the row over where the case should be heard was settled.

Yesterday’s ruling came after Mr Villiers put questions to the appeal court at a March hearing.

They included: ‘Why should a spouse who moved south get better alimony payments than one who stayed in Scotland and asked a judge in Scotland to make decisions?’

The publisher, grandson of a viscount and a distant relation of the Duchess of Cornwall, told the court he had suffered financial problems since the break-up.

He was declared bankrupt in 2013 before being discharged a year later, and Milton House was repossessed by Barclays in 2015, he said.

But Mrs Villiers says he has a share in a £3.5million trust fund.