Sunday, 4 November 2012

Couldn't Run a Bath

Sunday 4-11-12

Tommy Sheridan's revival tour keeps coming unstuck.
Here's a longer version of the story in today's Sunday Herald

Tom Gordon
Scottish Political Editor

TOMMY Sheridan’s dream of a political comeback has suffered a fresh blow after he was kicked off the board of a charity because of his conviction for lying under oath.

The disgraced former Scottish Socialist MSP and Solidarity leader became a director of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust on the southside of Glasgow two months ago, despite being disqualified from helping to run a charity.

After the Sunday Herald asked the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (Oscr) on Friday if Sheridan was allowed on the board, it contacted the Trust who immediately threw him out. 

The law governing Scottish charities bans anyone “convicted of an offence involving dishonesty” from acting as a trustee unless they have special permission from the charity watchdog.

Anyone acting as a trustee while disqualified commits a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison.

Sheridan's appointment
Sheridan, 48, was convicted of committing perjury during his 2006 defamation case against the News of the World after it accused him of being an adulterer who visited a swingers’ club.
He was sentenced to three years in jail in January 2011 and released a year later.
Tory councillor David Meikle said: “I wouldn’t trust Tommy Sheridan to run a bath either.”
The humiliation comes as Sheridan tries to rebuild his reputation in an attempt to play a bigger role in the campaign for Scottish independence.
The Govanhill Trust would have been an attractive vehicle as it is already home to two of his old cronies: ex-Solidarity spokesman Jim Monaghan is the administrator, while Fatima Uygun, a former Solidarity candidate who vowed to hunt Sheridan’s critics “like wild animals”, is the treasurer.
Fatima Uygun (far left) with Tommy Sheridan
Andrew Johnson, the Trust chairman, said Sheridan had been made a director (the equivalent of a trustee) at the annual general meeting on 5 September through an “oversight”.

He said he could not remember who nominated him.
“We probably should have taken advice,” he said.
“He’s being advised immediately that he’s rapidly being struck off the membership of the board of Govanhill Baths. It’s just one of those unfortunate things where, as a charitable group, we weren’t aware of that legal position.”
He said a delay in holding board meetings meant Sheridan had not yet taken part in one, so the Trust’s decisions had not been compromised.
“In a sense I’m relieved that we have not allowed any illegal person to have any part in decision making at Govanhill Baths,” Johnson said.
The Trust was set up in 2005 to find a new use for the former council-run baths, which were closed to in 2001, leading to a five-month sit-in.
When sheriff officers tried to remove protesters, it triggered a day of skirmishes between local people and police, culminating in what officers called Glasgow’s worst riot in twenty years.
At the time, Sheridan demanded an investigation into allegations of police brutality.
The Trust now plans to restore the baths as a £13m community “Wellbeing Centre”.
How the Govanhill Wellbeing Centre might look
According to its accounts, the Trust receives more than half of its income from the public purse.
In 2009-10 and 2010-11, more than £82,00 of its £159,000 income came from the Scottish Government, with another £8,900 from Glasgow City Council and £1000 from the NHS, while in July this year the Big Lottery gave another £10,000.
Last month, in another rehabilitation bid, Sheridan appeared on the BBC politics show This Week as an advocate for a Yes vote in 2014, saying “We in the independence campaign” and “What Alex [Salmond] and I would agree on...”
He was immediately rebuffed by the SNP, with Finance Secretary John Swinney calling him “a man who has no political credibility whatsoever – none whatsoever. Not even political credibility, no credibility in terms of the judgments made by the courts of the land.”
An Oscr spokesman said: “A person guilty of a crime of dishonesty, such as perjury, is disqualified from being a charity trustee. 
“We have contacted the charity and written to Mr Sheridan, and it would therefore not be appropriate to comment further.”


  1. Oh my, it's as shame that GBCT have gotten this bad press as it was there job to make sure it's trustees are conviction free, but I did enjoy your "how the Govanhill Wellbeing Centre might look" photo!

  2. Is he still allowed to swim at the pool?