What do you get when you cross a socialist firebrand with Andy Coulson? Right good entertainment

My long term reader (you know who you are) will know that a few years ago posts about Tommy Sheridan were all the rage. The defamation case; the resultant disintegration of the Scottish Socialist Party; the police investigation; and the exciting appearance on TV’s Big brother all occupied much of the blogging at my former abode. And then I stopped. This was because the case moved into a criminal investigation with charges – leading to the upcoming trial of Tommy and Gail Sheridan.

While there is much rumour and counter-rumour about this it is best not to report this until things actually happen. However, given that the story about Mr Sheridan that led to the defamation action appeared in the News of the World it seemed likely that the recent New York Times investigation into phone tapping or account hacking under the editorship Andy Coulson (editor at the time of the Sheridan story being published) might provoke some interesting lines for the defence to take.

And lo, it came to pass that this morning’s Scotsman indicates that Mr Coulson has been asked to appear as a witness by the defence team. The letter asking Coulson to appear for the defence, sent by Mr Sheridan’s solicitor Aamer Anwar, arrived at Downing street yesterday. Coulson has not responded yet – but if cited failure to attend will carry its own problems. And if he appears then Mr Coulson will have his own difficulties as what on earth could a defence team ask Mr Coulson?

It might be the case that Mr Anwar’s action is more important than those of Lord Prescott, Tom Watson and all. Coulson could be appearing before a judge and jury, answering questions about the culture of the News of the World and its methodology, before any decisions are made south of the border. And if the furore of the past few days dies down – a Scottish court appearance will reignite the embers.

The prospect of the Sheridan trial becomes ever more enticing.

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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28 Responses to What do you get when you cross a socialist firebrand with Andy Coulson? Right good entertainment

  1. I was thinking about Mr Tommy just the other day. In particular, I was wondering if he managed to overcome his Big Brother self-sabotage, and actually gained an LLB.

  2. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

  3. Quietzapple says:

    I don’t recall Damian Macbride being paraded through the witness boxes of the criminal courts?

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  5. almax says:

    The BBC’s (and the rest of the London media) reporting on Coulson today seemed not to fully appreciate the potential for havoc that an appearance in Tommy’s perjury trial might wreak. On Channel 4, Alan Duncan was able to bat away calls for an enquiry into any Coulson involvement in phone hacking by pouring scorn on the lack of substance in the allegations.

    However, if Coulson ends up in the witness box in Edinburgh then it will only be for the purposes of being savaged and it might be difficult for him thereafter to return to London with reputation intact.

  6. blackwatertown says:

    Oh, what a delicious prospect. One to watch.

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  8. lartonmedia says:

    Nice to see you over on WordPress! So far, the English media haven’t cottoned onto the implications of Coulson popping up at the Sheridan trial. When’s that trial due to start, incidentally?

  9. Kris Jones says:

    Scottish law may be different but in England and Wales it would be most unusual for the courts to order the attendance of a witness if they were judged to be hostile. One cannot call witnesses just to cross-examine them.

    • I do not know what the position is in England. In Scotland counsel has discretion to call any competent witness. I cannot see any grounds for the court to deny the defence the power to call the man who edited the newspaper that published the article which led to the defamation case. He seems a very competent witness.

      • Quietzapple says:

        Might Tommy Sherridan’s lawyers, by announcing their intention so well in advance, be hoping that discussion will make a fair trial hard to achieve, with the result that Coulson will not be called, because there is no trial?

        Just worried.

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  11. Jim Monaghan says:

    Coulson has been asked for a statement on matters specifically related to the Sheridan case. The phone-tapping and bugging of Sheridan’s car are separate issues, but Coulson was directly involved in events that led to today’s trial and played a key role, that’s why he will be cited to appear as a witness.

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  14. Jim Monaghan says:

    I cany find an email address for you here. It would be better if you emailed me at jimmonaghan63@gmail.com before tweeting very much more. It’s fine, but I think i could clarify a point or two that would help you put things in context.

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