[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 4 November 2006, 17:04 GMT
Sheridan wants party to aim high
Tommy Sheridan with solidarity poster
Mr Sheridan formed the party with a former SSP colleague
Tommy Sheridan claims his new Solidarity party is aiming for an MSP in every region of Scotland at next year's Holyrood elections.

The MSP was addressing the new party's founding conference in Glasgow in front of 350 delegates.

Solidarity's name and constitution is expected to be decided at the event.

The party was formed by Mr Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne MSP after a split in the Scottish Socialists (SSP) in the wake of his defamation win over a newspaper.

The former SSP leader opened the event with a rallying cry to the 600 members who have already joined the party.

'Natural home'

He called on Scotland to become part of an international socialist movement.

In the 2003 Holyrood elections, the SSP won just under 7% of the vote, returning six members to Holyrood.

Speaking on Saturday, Mr Sheridan said he does not want to just take votes from other "small parties" in Scotland.

Instead, he wants the party to become the "natural home" for left-wing voters in Scotland.

It claims to have recruited hundreds of members inside two months, the MSP said, and is on course for 1,000 by the end of the year.

Solidarity with the struggle in Lebanon and Palestine, solidarity with low paid workers, solidarity with the oppressed in every country, not just here in Scotland
Tommy Sheridan MSP

He said: "We want to become the natural home for trades unionists, peace campaigners and those who believe in public services and public ownership.

"Our very name defines our principles of human solidarity across the world.

"Solidarity with the struggle in Lebanon and Palestine, solidarity with low paid workers, solidarity with the oppressed in every country, not just here in Scotland."

Mr Sheridan also attacked council house sales, called for more wealth redistribution and criticised the war in Iraq.

The party will join the anti-nuclear protests at Faslane next week and oppose the replacement of Britain's ageing Trident nuclear missile system.

Next May's election will also see it ask voters whether they want to live in "a Scotland where the gap between the richest and the poorest is growing every day, or a Scotland where we look after every single man, woman and child".

Mr Sheridan split with the SSP after several of its MSPs gave evidence against him at the News of the World defamation trial earlier this year.

He was awarded 200,000 by a jury after the paper printed allegations about his private life.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Two different parties with radical policies



SEE ALSO
Sheridan strives to promote goals
03 Oct 06 |  Tayside and Central
Sheridan unveils Solidarity party
03 Sep 06 |  Scotland
New socialist party for Sheridan
29 Aug 06 |  Scotland
Sheridan seeks amicable SSP split
25 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific