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Old 17-04-2009, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default Sheridan stands for Euro election

Solidarity leader Tommy Sheridan has confirmed he will stand as a candidate in the European elections taking place in June.

But the socialist politician and former celebrity Big Brother housemate will not take up his seat in the European Parliament in Brussels if he wins.

He will attempt to become a Euro MP as part of an anti-EU left wing coalition.

Mr Sheridan will be second on the NO2EU/Yes to Democracy coalition's Scottish regional list.

His fellow Solidarity member Leah Ganley will be third on the list, which will be headed by history Professor John Foster.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) trade union, led by Bob Crow, is sponsoring the coalition.

It includes Solidarity, the Communist Party of Britain, the Socialist Party, Morning Star newspaper and Indian Workers Association.

It will fight seats across the UK but none of its candidates will take up their seats if elected.

Mr Sheridan, who is currently facing perjury charges in relation to a defamation case against the News of the World, said: "This is strong list of candidates.

"Solidarity are prominently involved in a trade union-led campaign. The RMT are the most progressive union in the UK, with a socialist leader, Bob Crow.

"We are proud to be part of this coalition."

Mr Sheridan was one of the leading figures in the establishment of the Scottish Socialist Alliance in 1996, which evolved into the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) in 1998.

He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 as a member for Glasgow and re-elected in 2003 along with five other SSP MSPs.

Perjury investigation

In 2006 he won a defamation case against the News of the World, which had published sex and drugs claims.

Following his court victory, he announced that he was leaving the SSP and forming a new party, Solidarity, with former Socialist MSP Rosemary Byrne. Both lost their seats at the 2007 Holyrood election.

Since then, Mr Sheridan has hosted a chat show during the Edinburgh fringe and a radio talk show. He was the fifth person evicted in last year's Celebrity Big Brother.

A police investigation was launched after a judge said conflicting evidence in the defamation trial may have meant some people were perjuring themselves.

Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail were charged with perjury in December 2007. They both deny the charges and a trial is expected to take place later this year.
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