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August 17, 2012

News of the World Scotland editor charged with perjury, hacking

News of the World Scotland editor charged with perjury, hacking

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Friday, August 17, 2012

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The former news editor at the now-defunct News of the World‘s Scottish division has been charged with perjury, conspiring to hack telephones, and breaching data protection legislation.

Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan features prominently in the inquiry, with Wight the second man to be accused of lying at his trial.

Strathclyde Police made the announcement yesterday that Douglas Wight, 39, has been arrested and charged as part of the force’s probe into phone-hacking in Scotland, dubbed Operation Rubicon. The investigation encompasses possible perjury at the trial of Tommy Sheridan, a former Member of the Scottish Parliament who was himself tried for perjury in late 2010. Sheridan was convicted of lying during an earlier defamation case against the News of the World.

Wight is now accused of lying at that trial, as well as a plot to hack phones in Scotland, and a number of allegations relating to unlawful acquisition of private data. Wight, who lives in London, attended a Glaswegian police station yesterday at the police’s request. He left last night and is not due in court today; a report is being prepared for the local procurator fiscal (prosecutor).

The charges follow Andy Coulson, who served as communications chief to David Cameron, being charged in May with perjury at the same trial. Sheridan was ultimately jailed for three years and released after serving one; he continues to protest his innocence. It followed a successful defamation case before the Court of Session in 2006, at which Sheridan was awarded £200,000 over allegations in the paper of sexual infidelity; his wife Gail was also tried in 2010 but cleared of lying in the case.



Related news

  • “Scottish politician going to jail after perjury conviction” — Wikinews, December 24, 2010

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 22, 2006

Scottish Socialist Party to split as Sheridan launches new party

Scottish Socialist Party to split as Sheridan launches new party

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The crisis in the Scottish left has intensified as former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan has announced his intention to launch a new left wing party.

Sheridan, currently an SSP Member of the Scottish Parliament, was forced to resign as leader after the News of the World accused him of frequenting sex clubs. Sheridan successfully sued the newspaper last month, and was awarded £200,000 in damages. Eleven leading members of the SSP, including 3 MSPs supported the newspaper’s allegations against him and testified against Sheridan in court.

Sheridan had intended to attempt to reclaim the leadership of the SSP but has instead decided to found a “new party of the left” leaving what he described as the “colossal train wreck of the SSP” which is divided between two factions, the pro-Sheridan “SSP Majority” and the anti-Sheridan “United Left”.

Colin Fox, the current SSP leader, has urged Sheridan to abandon his plans. “I disagree with Tommy that the SSP has ‘reached its historical limits’. The SSP has huge potential still ahead of it. Hundreds of thousands of people wish to see it survive and thrive and take the socialist project which it uniquely promotes, still further forward…There is no basis for two socialist parties in Scotland with indistinguishable political programmes,” said Fox in a statement.

Two major platforms within the SSP, the International Socialists (CWI) and the Socialist Worker Platform (IST) support Sheridan’s call as does the SSP’s South of Scotland regional committee.

Sheridan claims that several leading Scottish celebrities including actors and directors Peter Mullan, David McKay and Martin McCardie, support his call for a new party.

“I predict hundreds, maybe thousands, of ordinary, everyday workers will fight for equality and justice. The war is with inequality, not with fellow socialists. And Scotland is big enough for more than one socialist party, ” said Sheridan.

“The atmosphere a faction in the SSP has created is poisonous and unacceptable. It’s obvious that those who are involved with the faction, which has hijacked the SSP and all its apparatus, have hatred for me as their motivating factor. The SSP have been bastardised, they’re now a grotesque caricature of what we had hoped. It’s time for them to fight among themselves. It’s time to make a clean break. The new party will share some of the political ideology of the old SSP and the internal regime will be one of tolerance, friendship and genuine solidarity,” said Sheridan in an interview with a Scottish newspaper.

The SSP executive has issued a statement declaring that Sheridan is “on the road to oblivion” accusing him of engaging in an “act of political irresponsibility which can only delight the enemies of socialism in Scotland.” The statement continues “Tommy Sheridan has decided to run away from the SSP and wreak as much damage as he can in the process.”

Sheridan replied to the statement saying “I can’t win either way. If I stay I am a problem according to my SSP colleagues who say they will not work with me again, but if I go I am splitting the socialist cause. Frankly, the SSP has been distorted by the faction which has hijacked its apparatus and the internal regime is now longer conducive to building a socialist party”. He added there is an “unstoppable momentum building up” for the creation of a new party.

Sheridan and his supporters plan to hold a meeting on September 3, 2006 to plan the new party. The SSP, meanwhile, will hold an event the day before to rally its support.

The SSP currently has six MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, two of whom, Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne are supporting the new party.

Related news

  • “Sex scandal rocks Scottish politics” — Wikinews, July 12, 2006

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 12, 2006

Sex scandal rocks Scottish politics

Sex scandal rocks Scottish politics – Wikinews, the free news source

Sex scandal rocks Scottish politics

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Scottish flag.

The Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh.

A controversial defamation court case is continuing today in Edinburgh after hearing fresh allegations against one of Scotland’s most influential politicians. Tommy Sheridan, a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and convener of the Scottish Socialist Party, is pressing ahead with the case despite claims of orgies and other sexual acts by tabloid newspaper The News of the World.

Since the case began over a week ago, the courtroom has heard allegations from several journalists, MSPs and colleagues of Mr Sheridan, with witnesses telling of scandals varying from extra-marital group sex to “threats that someone would pull out a tongue”. The case began after The News of the World printed several pieces in 2004 and 2005, making allegations regarding Mr Sheridan’s personal life. The newspaper stands by the articles as true, despite the MSP claiming £200,000 in damages.

Many of the original articles centre around the former market researcher Helen Allison, who claims that, in 2002, she was invited to a Glasgow hotel by a friend to attend a “VIP party.” Upon arrival, she was taken up to a suite where she saw Tommy Sheridan “having sex with a female at the bottom of a bed and another man sitting at the side of the bed putting a condom on.” It was alleged by The News of the World that this woman was a prostitute. It was after selling this story to the newspaper that Miss Allison received threats that her tongue would be removed.

The courtroom has also heard testimonials from another witness, 38 year-old journalist Anver Khan. Miss Khan told the court that she had visited a “Swingers’ Club” in Manchester with Mr Sheridan. She has also told of threats and attacks by individuals associated with the MSP, who is currently married to Gail Sheridan. In a show of unity, the couple have been arriving at court each day hand in hand.

The trial is set to last for two weeks in total.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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