Tommy Sheridan best man 'secretly filmed meeting'

The best man at Tommy Sheridan's wedding told a court today that he "secretly" taped the politician discussing allegations about his private life made in the News of the World.





George McNeilage said he made the tape in November 2004, because he thought other people deserved to hear what Sheridan had to say.



The 46-year-old, who now works as a pest controller, said Sheridan had called and asked to meet him for a discussion, so he set up a video camera and hid it among building debris at the house he was renovating.



He told the politician's perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow that he pressed the record button shortly before Sheridan walked in, agreeing with Advocate Depute Alex Prentice that the recording had taken place in secret.



Mobile phone records indicated that the meeting took place on November 18, at around 7.30pm.



Mr McNeilage, who went to school with Sheridan, but only became close to him in 1986 when they met through shared political interests, agreed that those times "fitted" with his memory of events.



Mr McNeilage told the court he had not felt as if he was betraying Sheridan, but said he nonetheless felt nervous.



He said: "It's not the sort of thing you do. I had been with this guy for a long, long time."



He added that "events" and the way Sheridan had previously spoken to him about "people I knew were good, good people" had made him make the tape.



He said: "He owed it to those people, if he was going down that route, that he should explain it to those people."



He said no-one had asked him to film Sheridan, but he had previously said in newspapers and on television that someone else had, "probably to sound a bit better".



Sheridan denies lying to the courts during his successful action against the News of the World in 2006, which followed the newspaper's claims that he was an adulterer who visited swingers' clubs.



He and his wife Gail, both 46 and from Glasgow, deny lying under oath during the action.



Sheridan won £200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed the allegations about his private life.



Mr McNeilage said he had previously met Sheridan twice in his car in which he had discussed the News of the World's allegations, but had known about the claims since 2002.



He said the meeting in Sheridan's car "was about the News of the World, Anvar Khan and the story that had come out".



"He said things like 'They have not got anything on me', 'She betrayed my trust', along those lines.



"He wanted me on his side."



He said a second meeting took place "within days", and Sheridan told him he would have to fight the allegations in court because he "couldn't put his hand up", the court heard.



He said: "One of the main things he said was 'I can't deal with this, I can't put my hands up, I can't go to Gail. If I do that the floodgates will open. I have to take this to court'."



Mr McNeilage said: "I was just blown away. It was shocking. I felt as if I had been manipulated and used."



He said he had been shocked that Sheridan "was going to take Gail through this".



The trial, before Lord Bracadale, continues.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
News
An Apple iPhone 6 stands on display at the Apple Store
businessRegulators give iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the green light
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Britain's internet habits have been revealed in a new survey
tech
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style