|Solidarity – Scotland's Socialist Movement|
|File:Solidarity (Scotland) (logo).png|
|Leader||Joint leadership of Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne|
|Split from||Scottish Socialist Party|
|Headquarters||Glasgow, G42 2DN|
|Membership (2012-13)||Exact number unknown |
|Political position||Left-wing to Far-left|
|National affiliation||Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition|
|Colours||Red, Green, White|
|House of Commons (Scottish seats)||
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|Politics of Scotland
Solidarity (full name Solidarity – Scotland's Socialist Movement) is a political party in Scotland, launched on 3 September 2006 as a breakaway from the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). It was formed by two of the Scottish Socialist Party's six MSPs, Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne, in the aftermath of Sheridan's libel action.
On 23 December 2010, Tommy Sheridan was convicted of perjury during the 2006 libel action, and sentenced to three years imprisonment on 26 January 2011. Solidarity performed poorly in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, achieving only 2,837 votes or 0.14% of the overall regional list vote.
Solidarity has one elected official in Scotland; councillor Pat Lee in South Lanarkshire. Lee was elected as an SNP councillor and defected to Solidarity in May 2015. Solidarity has been accused of using entryist tactics in North Lanarkshire, with it being claimed that activists close to the party have infiltrated SNP branches in the area.
The party is considering running under the Hope Over Fear banner for the 2016 Scottish parliamentary election.
On its launch, Solidarity claimed to be a democratic alternative to the SSP, which Sheridan said was divided and had "run out of breath". A launch rally held in September 2006 in Glasgow attracted around 600 people. 250 people attended the founding conference on Saturday 5 November 2006.
The new party was backed by the Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party Scotland (part of the Committee for a Workers' International). The two groups clashed at the first Solidarity conference on the political orientation of the party. After a close vote the interim title of "Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement" was adopted as the name of the party, and Rosemary Byrne and Tommy Sheridan were unanimously endorsed as co-convenors.
The party failed to win any seats in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election. The party won one council seat in Glasgow in local elections, Ruth Black, who subsequently defected to Labour in December 2007 after Sheridan was charged with perjury. In March 2009, Solidarity joined No to EU – Yes to Democracy, a left-wing eurosceptic coalition for the 2009 European Parliament elections, which received 9,693 votes (0.9%) in Scotland. Sheridan stood for election to Westminster in 2010 under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition banner, winning 931 votes (2.9%) in Glasgow South West and losing his deposit.
Solidarity stood down in the Glasgow region for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election in order to allow George Galloway, the Respect Party candidate, a better chance of being elected. Solidarity performed poorly with a result of only 2,837 votes, or 0.14% of the regional vote, and won no seats in the Scottish Parliament. The party's issues were compounded when Solidarity leader Tommy Sheridan was convicted of perjury following a 12-week-long court case at the High Court in Glasgow, and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment on 26 January 2011. He was released in early 2012.
At the start of 2015, Solidarity faced its own split as Socialist Party Scotland withdrew its support for the party and said Sheridan had moved to the right.
Solidarity's split from the SSP was beset by a number of controversies. In the immediate aftermath of Solidarity's launch, members of the SSP claimed that a transfer of funds from the account of the regional SSP to Solidarity was fraudulent. In Autumn 2006, the Industrial Workers of the World alleged that Sheridan and Byrne betrayed workers by ignoring their right of consultation about the impending redundancy of parliamentary staff, and unilaterally removing funding from the collective body which employed parliamentary staff.
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- "Solidarity faces breakaway over Tommy Sheridan's support for SNP". The Herald. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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- The Shetland News - Shetland socialists call in cops
- The Herald - Solidarity is cleared over funds ‘smear’
- The Shetland News - Party fraud probe still ongoing
- IWW website - Sheridan betrays his own workers
- IWW Website - NUJ backs dispute with Sheridan