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UK Politics

Gail Sheridan 'to stand for Scottish parliament'

The wife of convicted perjurer Tommy Sheridan is reportedly ready to take up his socialist mantle in the Scottish Parliament.

Gail Sheridan, whose husband is facing a lengthy prison sentence later this month, is said to be preparing to stand for Sheridan's Solidarity party in May.

The Herald newspaper reported that she intends to stand on the Glasgow list in May's Holyrood elections.

The newspaper also said Mrs Sheridan would spearhead the left-wing party's campaign for seats on Glasgow City Council at the local authority elections next year.

Solidarity National Secretary Graeme McIver said no formal decision has been taken on Holyrood candidates, but added that this morning's report indicated clear support among some sections of the party for Mrs Sheridan to stand.

Mr McIver said: "I haven't spoken to her personally, so all I know about her intentions is the reports in the press this morning.

"However, it is clear from these reports that people close to Gail believe she should stand.

"I hope to speak to her later today to find out more about her plans."

He went on: "There will be a democratic election process to follow in the coming weeks.

"Within Solidarity there are eight electoral regions and local party members will be nominated to stand in each region.

"It will be up to the members in Glasgow to make the call on whether it wants Gail to stand."

Mr McIver added that an official statement from Solidarity is expected later today.

Trial judge Lord Bracadale has already warned Sheridan to expect a lengthy jail sentence after he was found guilty of lying in court about his private life.

Mrs Sheridan, who had been indicted along with her husband, was later acquitted of the perjury charge against her.

And after her husband was convicted of perjury last month Mrs Sheridan vowed: "I have and will always stand by Tommy."

Sheridan first met Gail Healy when they were pupils in the same year at Lourdes Secondary School in Glasgow.

Romance, however, did not blossom until many years later.

He left school and went on to study at Stirling University while she began her career as an air hostess.

Sheridan - a leading campaigner against the poll tax - was sent to prison for six months in 1992 for trying to prevent a warrant sale.

During this time she began sending postcards from her trips across the globe while working for British Airways and they eventually became a couple and began living together in Glasgow.

Despite saying he did not believe in marriage, Sheridan proposed while they were on holiday in Cuba in 1996 and the couple wed in their home city in June 2000, returning to Cuba for their honeymoon.

Mrs Sheridan unsuccessfully contested the Glasgow Cardonald seat in a council election in 2003. She dramatically increased the Scottish Socialist Party's (SSP) vote, but lost out to Labour by a margin of 1,146 to 825.

The following year the Sheridans announced they were expecting their first child and Mrs Sheridan gave birth to daughter Gabrielle in May 2005.