Solidarity members charged with perjury over Tommy Sheridan libel case

Solidarity today condemned as scandalous and unprecedented the widening vendetta being pursued by Lothian and Borders Police and the Scottish Crown office against our party and Tommy Sheridan.

We can today confirm that Solidarity members Jock Penman, our national secretary Graeme McIver and our co-convener Rosemary Byrne have all now been charged with perjury by Lothian and Borders police. We expect that other Solidarity members will also be charged in the coming days.

Their "crime" in the eyes of the Murdoch empire, the police and sections of the Scottish legal establishment has been to stand shoulder-to shoulder with Tommy Sheridan throughout his defamation case and since. It is for these actions that they have now been singled out and subjected to sustained police pressure and intimidation and have now been charged. Solidarity declares our 100% support for our members who are now facing perjury charges.

Our members have done nothing wrong, committed no crime and consistently told the truth. They are guilty of nothing other than standing up against the reactionary bile of the News of the World and the Murdoch press.

Once again, we repeat our calls for an investigation into the reasons for this unprecedented investigation and the massive resources given to it - now exceeding £500,000 of public money has been squandered. Never before in Scottish legal history has a perjury inquiry followed a civil case. The Scottish Crown Office and Lothian and Borders Police should not be acting as agents for Rupert Murdoch's witch-hunt.