Former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan was under surveillance by anti-union Consulting Association for 14 years

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It has emerged that the former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan was under surveillance by the anti-union Consulting Association for 14 years, including the period when he was an elected Member of the Scottish Parliament.

The file on him begins in 1995 when he was an elected councillor and continues till 2009, two years after he lost his seat at Holyrood.

Campaigners say the file includes details of visits to picket lines involving construction workers and his advocacy of improved working conditions across the building industry.

It was originally thought that the blacklist complied by the Consulting Association only covered trade union members and activists, but a large number of files recently seen by members of the Blacklist Support Group indicate the CA also spied on academics, journalists and lawyers on behalf of the dozens of major UK building contractors.

Tommy Sheridan is the first elected politician to confirm he was named by the now-defunct CA.

According to the Blacklist Support Group, he was under surveillance as late at 2009, three years after he resigned as SSP leader and during the period when he took legal action against the News of the World for libel.

Although he won the libel case, Tommy Sheridan was subsequently convicted and jailed for perjury relating to his evidence in the NOTW case.

The blacklist file records events such as his support for striking electricians in Edinburgh in 2000.

One entry relates to assistance he offered constituents to gain employment as security guards on a Beazer Homes construction project.

The Blacklist Support Group says some information on the file comes from press cuttings, but also includes material supplied by the multi-national construction giant Skanska.

Tommy Sheridan said: “Everyone in the labour movement suspected for years that big companies compiled secret blacklists containing trade unionists and activists but now those suspicions are proven to be a sad reality.

“For daring to support construction workers fighting for better wages and conditions you find yourself placed on a blacklist.

“The full extent of the activities of groups like the Consultancy Association have to be exposed. Who financed them? Who supplied them with their information? Who used the information?”

The latest revelations come as an inquiry continues at Westminster into blacklisting. MPs are due to take further evidence next week.


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