Socialist Worker

Did Andy Coulson lie in Sheridan trial?

by James Doleman
Issue No. 2306

David Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson was arrested and charged with perjury by Strathclyde Police on Wednesday of last week.

He is accused of lying during the perjury trial of Scottish socialist politician Tommy Sheridan in 2010.

Coulson’s arrest has led to renewed calls for the guilty verdict against Tommy to be reversed.  

Coulson, then press secretary for David Cameron, gave two days of evidence during Tommy’s trial.

He denied any knowledge of phone hacking or of a plot by the News of the World, which he edited, to discredit Tommy for his political views.

Scottish News of the World editor Bob Bird told the court that key emails the defence requested had been “lost in India”.

Tommy was jailed for three years. Bird then had to apologise when it was revealed the emails had been stored in a server at News International all along.

Strathclyde police sources have been quoted saying that they expect the arrest of other witnesses who gave evidence against Tommy.

Labour MP Tom Watson has been important in exposing the crimes of the Murdoch empire. He said, “A former member of the Scottish parliament, Tommy Sheridan, lost his liberty on a majority verdict of a jury not in full possession of the facts. I believe the judgement is unsound.”

Fiona MacDonald, secretary of the Defend Tommy Sheridan Campaign, added, “Mr Watson’s comments echo what Mr Sheridan, his family, his friends and his supporters have been saying for over a year.

“We have long said that the evidence given by witnesses representing News International at the perjury trial was untrue and incomplete.

“Hopefully now they will be brought to justice and Tommy’s conviction quashed.”

Tommy’s solicitor Gordon Dangerfield added, “We believe that when the whole truth comes out, the public will be given an entirely new perspective on what the Tommy Sheridan trial was really about.

“It is safe to say that many people will have their eyes opened for the first time.”

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