(404) POLITICIANS IN COURT – SHERIDAN, WATSON, GALLOWAY
POLITICIANS IN COURT – SHERIDAN, WATSON, GALLOWAY
Religionists (see No 393) were followed into the court room by politicians in late November and December 2004. On 30 November Mike Watson, MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, was bailed in Edinburgh Sheriff Court on a charge of wilful fire-raising at Prestonfield House Hotel, during the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards event on 11 November (one well-fuelled with liquid refreshments, according to reports from members of the media who should know). On 2 December, Eady J of the English High Court awarded £150,000 in defamation damages to George Galloway, MP for Glasgow Kelvin, against the Daily Telegraph, in respect of a claim that Galloway had received substantial sums of money from the former Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. Meanwhile, Tommy Sheridan, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, stated that he would be suing the News of the World over allegations about his extra-marital conduct published on 14 November. Mr Sheridan had resigned as leader of the Scottish Socialist Party the previous week. The party executive said in a statement: The executive completely dismisses the rumours that have circulated in the press that Tommy’s resignation was provoked by a leadership challenge, a factional power struggle or any other form of political internal in-fighting. But no comment was made on the allegations of an affair, since this was the subject of a legal action.