Politician “had affair” with NoW journo

Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan is alleged to have committed adultery
with News of the World sex columnist Anvar Khan.

The allegation was read to the jury by the clerk of the court on the opening
day of a £200,000 libel civil action brought against the News of the World
by Sheridan at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday, for articles on
his private life.

Alistair Clark, QC, for the News of the World told the jury that the
tabloid was proud of "exposing hypocrisy on the part of the public
figures" and claimed Sheridan was a hypocrite. He said the tabloid's
allegations against Sheridan were "substantially true".

The News of the World alleged in articles carried in 2004 and 2005 that
Sheridan had cheated on his wife, visited a swingers's club for casual sex
and took part in orgies.

Sheridan, the former leader and co-founder of the SSP, has denied these
In one article, News of the World columnist Anvar Khan claimed that she
had a "kinky fling" with an unnamed married Scottish politician.

The SSP national treasurer Alison Kane told the court that following an
article which the News of the World ran on 31, October, 2004, in which Khan
told of visiting Cupid's swingers' club in Manchester with an unnamed MSP,
she bcame aware that the MSP was Sheridan.

She said an SSP executive meeting of November 2004 had voted 19-0 to ask
him to step down in the wake of the Anvar Khan story although the party had
issued a statement that it was voluntary "to protect him".

The jury was then shown a minute of the meeting which recorded Sheridan
admitted visiting Cupid¹s in 1996 and 2002.
The minute also said Sheridan admitted this had been "reckless" and a "mistake", but there was no proof he had visited the club and he would deny
it if asked.

The libel action, which has attracted massive coverage in the Scottish
media, is expect to run for at least two weeks.



Picture credit: Reuters 

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