Scottish politician to face perjury trial

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tommy Sheridan
Image: Dominique Natanson.

Former member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Tommy Sheridan and his wife are to be tried for perjury.

The charges stem from Tommy and Gail Sheridan's successful £200,000 defamation suit against British tabloid newspaper The News of the World in 2006, during which the judge said that conflicting evidence meant some witnesses were perjuring themselves. This led to an investigation by Lothian and Borders Police. The newspaper had accused Tommy Sheridan of having an affair.

Sheridan established the Scottish Socialist Alliance in 1996, which became the Scottish Socialist Party and stood in the 1999 elections to the newly re-established Scottish Parliament. Sheridan was elected as MSP for Glasgow. He was re-elected in 2003 but the party split in 2006 — with some members giving evidence against Sheridan in his court case — and Sheridan and another MSP, Rosemary Byrne, formed a new party, Solidarity. However, this party — and the remaining Scottish Socialists — lost all their seats in the 2007 election.

After leaving Holyrood, Sheridan hosted a chat show at the Edinburgh fringe and had a talk radio show before joining the latest series of Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother. He is now studying law at the University of Strathclyde.