The News of the World has accused Tommy Sheridan, the socialist member of the Scottish parliament, of lying in the court case the paper dramatically lost after publishing allegations about his personal life.
The Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid has purchased a secretly filmed video from a personal friend of Sheridan, George McNeilage. At the time the video was made, McNeilage was a fellow member of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP).
News of the World readers were encouraged to pay 50p to listen to the recording on a telephone hotline.
Sheridan stated, “Their vendetta against me, my family and my political beliefs continues. They are trying to break me politically and personally. They will fail on both counts.”
The News of the World first published stories about Sheridan’s personal life two years ago. The SSP executive immediately voted to remove him as party convenor, rather than face down allegations about a private matter.
That vote engulfed the party in a vicious internal fight, which consumed its energies. After Sheridan won a libel case against the tabloid he quit the SSP to launch a new party, Solidarity, saying he wanted to leave such factional battles behind.
The News of the World and some of his former comrades are united in pursuing him at the cost of everything else. Sheridan has promised to keep campaigning over issues such as war and privatisation.