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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Sheridan sex club claim confusion
Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan said he resigned to spend time with his pregnant wife
A witness in MSP Tommy Sheridan's defamation case said he could not be sure what was said at an emergency meeting of the Scottish Socialists.

Graham McIver, 38, was at the crunch meeting, convened after tabloid claims about a Holyrood MSP's sex life.

He initially told the court he did not recall SSP policy officer Alan McCombes telling the meeting Mr Sheridan had confessed to visiting a swingers' club.

Under cross examination he later said that it may have happened.

Denied the allegations

Mr McIver told the Court of Session Mr Sheridan, who resigned as party leader after the meeting, had confessed to having a relationship with journalist Anvar Khan in the early 1990s, before he was married.

But the SSP's South of Scotland organiser said that those who said Mr Sheridan had admitted visiting the Manchester sex club were "mistaken".

He claimed that Mr Sheridan denied the allegations when they were put to him at the SSP meeting on 9 November 2004.

Mr Sheridan is suing the News of the World over the allegations.

Mike Jones QC, counsel for the Sunday tabloid, questioned Mr McIver about the document which gives an account of the 2004 meeting.

The document, described by Mr Sheridan as the "dodgy minute", records how Mr McCombes told the meeting Mr Sheridan had confessed in 2002 that rumours about him and a swingers' club were true.

It does not seem to me that it was a true minute of the meeting
Pat Smith

Mr Sheridan had asked him not to reveal it because there was no proof and no possibility that anyone involved would tell others, it said.

Mr McCombes had earlier told the court that this account was true.

Mr McIver said: "If Alan McCombes said that in evidence, I am not going to call Alan McCombes a liar. All I can say is I do not remember, on 9 November, hearing that said. That is all I am saying."

'Not accurate'

Meanwhile, another member of the SSP executive committee told the court that Mr Sheridan had denied attending a swingers' club.

Pat Smith, 60, also said the minute taken at an emergency party meeting was inaccurate.

The nanny said the minute of the meeting may have been drafted for "negative reasons".

She said: "It does not seem to me that it was a true minute of the meeting."

Mr Sheridan, who is conducting his own case, asked Ms Smith: "Is it your evidence that you heard me deny being the individual that visited a swingers' club?"

Ms Smith replied: "Yes, I did.

"You were very, very clear about that."


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