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Former Scottish Socialist Party leader found guilty of perjury

Tommy Sheridan, one of Scotland's best known politicians, was convicted of lying in Court during his defamation case against a newspaper.

Tommy Sheridan, one of Scotland's best known politicians, was convicted of lying in Court during his defamation case against a newspaper.

The former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party won a defamation action against the News of the World in 2006 after the newspaper ran stories accusing Mr Sheridan of adultery and visiting a sex club.

But one year later, Lothian and Borders Police decided to charge the politician with perjury for allegedly having told lies to the Court in his successful defamation case.

Mr Sheridan's high profile perjury trial began in October 2010 at the High Court in Glasgow. For the next 12 weeks the case made the nation's headlines as the jury were told details about the politician's private life.

Although 11 of Mr Sheridan's former Socialist Party colleagues testified against him, he claimed he was innocent and told the Court there had been a long standing campaign conducted against him by his former party colleagues, the police and the News of the World.

On 23 December 2010, the jury found Mr Sheridan guilty of perjury. The politician announced he would appeal the decision, while the News of the World said it intended to recoup Court costs from Mr Sheridan.

One of Scotland's most charismatic politicians, Tommy Sheridan lead the Scottish Socialist Party to gain 6 seats in the 2003 election to the Scottish Parliament.

In 2006 Mr Sheridan left the Scottish Socialist Party and created a new socialist party called Solidarity. Both parties failed to win any seats in the 2007 election for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Sheridan is the fourth Scottish political party leader to fall from grace in the past decade of Scottish Devolution. Other former party leaders to have fallen victim of press revelations include Labour's Henry McLeish in 2001, Conservative David McLetchie in 2005 and Labour's Wendy Alexander in 2007.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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