Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail faced a seven page charge sheet on day one of their trial for perjury at Glasgow high court today. He was cheered into court by a small contingent of loyal supporters but the press clearly outnumbered them.
Sheridan and his supporters have been keen to paint the charges as a class war action but for many people the trial is simply about truth and lies. Did Sheridan perjure himself during his defamation case against the News of the World?
SSP members told the defamation trial that Sheridan had admitted visiting sex clubs at a meeting in Nov 2004 . There had been a minute taken of that meeting at which the discussion was minuted as beginning with Sheridan talking about a newspaper having got a story about him visiting a sex club. He is minuted as admitting the allegations but saying he would fight the newspaper and claiming the paper would be unable to prove it's allegations against him.
The jury of 13 women and two men heard today from a Scottish Socialist party (SSP) official, Barbara Scott, the member took the minutes at an emergency party executive meeting in November 2004 after the News of the World stories broke.
Scott today recalled that Sheridan, then a member of the Scottish parliament for Glasgow and the SSP's convener, had admitted at the meeting that he had twice visited Cupids " sex club" in Manchester in 1996 and 2002 and that he had admitted to it being a "weakness ".