Tommy Sheridan to have perjury conviction reviewed

FORMER Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan is to have his perjury conviction reviewed.

The former SSP leader is appealing his 2011 conviction. Picture: John Devlin
The former SSP leader is appealing his 2011 conviction. Picture: John Devlin

Mr Sheridan was jailed in 2011 after he was found guilty of lying under oath during his successful defamation action against the now-defunct News of the World newspaper.

The ex-politician has always maintained his innocence and in June lodged an application to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

The Commission has now confirmed it will review his conviction.

Mr Sheridan, 50, said: “It has taken a frustratingly long time to progress but at last the SCCRC has the files and my appeal against conviction has been assessed and considered worthy of more detailed analysis.

“I am absolutely confident my unsafe conviction will eventually be quashed and my name will be cleared.”

His solicitor Gordon Dangerfield said: “This is obviously an important step forward in the process of having Tommy’s conviction appealed and overturned.

“I consider that the evidence we have gathered in support of the appeal is utterly compelling. In my view, that evidence demonstrates very clearly that the conviction was a shocking miscarriage of justice, and I’m very much looking forward to the Commission’s own independent investigation and decision.”

In a 2004 article, the News of the World reported Mr Sheridan had visited a swingers club and cheated on his wife Gail. He was an MSP representing the Scottish Socialist Party at the time.

He was awarded £200,000 in damages after winning his defamation case against the tabloid but ended up on trial for perjury and was convicted at the end of 2010.

Senior judges refused him leave to appeal against the conviction the following year and the only route back to appeal judges is via the SCCRC.

Mr Sheridan - who served just over a year of his three-year sentence - hopes the body will rule there may have been a miscarriage of justice and refer it back to the High Court.