Sheridan will stand trial for perjury

By Laura Miller

Scottish socialist MP Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail will stand trial for perjury, it has been announced today.

The pair stands accused of lying during a successful defamation case against the News of the World in 2006, in which Sheridan received maximum damages of £200,000.

The newspaper claimed the married MP had visited swingers’ clubs in Manchester and had engaged in an adulterous affair. It also alleged Sheridan, who claims to be teetotal, drank champagne and took cocaine.

In court Sheridan denied drug taking and drinking, despite eleven members of the Scottish Socialist Party’s (SSP) executive committee testifying that he had admitted in committee meeting to attending a swingers club with women.

Four members of the SSP also present at meeting backed Sheridan’s claim that he made no such admission.

But allegations of intimidation and witnesses lying surrounded the trial, and in October 2006 Crown Office prosecutors ordered police to carry out a criminal investigation into allegations of perjury.

In December 2007, Sheridan was charged with perjury in the News of the World case.

By February 2008, Sheridan’s wife, Gal, had also been charged with perjury along with Rosemary Byrne, Pat Smith, Graeme McIver, Jock Penman and Sheridan’s father-in-law, Angus Healey.

Sheridan appeared in Celebrity Big Brother 2009 for a reported fee of £100,000, saying he needed the money. During his time in the house it was reported his bail conditions required him to notify a temporary change of address to Elstree Studios in London.