NoW libel Member of Scottish Parliament admits swingers' club claim

Former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan, currently suing the News of the World for libel, stunned a party meeting by confessing he had visited swingers' sex clubs on two occasions, a jury heard.

Sheridan is claiming damages of £200,000 over NoW stories dating from 2004-2005, which said that he attended a swingers' sex club and participated in orgies.

Allan Green, the SSP's national secretary, told the Court of Session in Edinburgh that the MSP wanted to deny the story.

Green, 48, described what happened at an emergency party meeting on 9 November 2004 — days after the Sunday newspaper published lurid claims about an unnamed Holyrood politician.

Giving evidence on day 11 of the civil action, Mr Green said: "Tommy referred to the News Of The World newspaper article. He said that he had visited a swingers' club on two occasions, I think, in 1996 and 2002."

He said Sheridan had accepted the claims were true, but "he wanted to prove the story was false".

A woman who said she saw Sheridan taking part in a threesome denied she had concocted the claims to make money.

Under cross-examination by the ex- Scottish Socialist Party leader, who last week sacked his legal team and is representing himself, Anne Colvin said she had been paid £1,000 by the News of the World.

Colvin also said that she had been promised a further £6,000 when the allegations were published.

Sheridan pointed out inconsistencies in the evidence of Mrs Colvin, 54, her friend Helen Allison, 52, and that of former News of the World Scottish news editor Douglas Wight.

The politician challenged her as to why Mrs Allison's recollection of events at the Moat House Hotel in June 2002 made no reference to a footballer dancing naked in the lounge and to pornographic material appearing on the TV when it was switched on.

The Glasgow MSP put it to the witness: "The truth is, your story is so ridiculous that no one would believe it until November (2004) when a ‘get Tommy Sheridan' bandwagon started to roll from the News of the World offices and you went to jump on it and make some money for yourself."

Mrs Colvin replied: "Absolutely ridiculous."

Asked to recall what she had seen when she opened the bedroom door in the hotel suite, Mrs Colvin said: "I saw you [Sheridan]. I saw you naked on a bed with another naked man and a woman engaged in sexual activity.

"You were so busy that no one had noticed my head going into that room."

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