Rosemary Byrne

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Rosemary Byrne
Leader of Solidarity
Assumed office
3 September 2006
Preceded by New Position
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South of Scotland
In office
1 May 2003 – 3 May 2007
Personal details
Born (1948-03-03) 3 March 1948 (age 74)
Irvine, North Ayrshire
Political party Solidarity

Rosemary Byrne (born 3 March 1948, Irvine, North Ayrshire) is a Scottish political figure. She was a co-convenor of Solidarity (Scotland) and a former Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the South of Scotland (Scottish Parliament electoral region). She was elected as a representative of the Scottish Socialist Party in 2003, but lost her seat in the 2007 election after she and Tommy Sheridan left the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) to form Solidarity (Scotland).

Byrne lives in Irvine, and was a teacher and a trade union activist for several years. At one time she was president of Irvine Trades Council.

Scottish Parliament

In 2003 she was elected to the Scottish Parliament, and scored the SSP's best constituency vote outside Glasgow in Cunninghame South. At the time of the 2003 election she was arguably the least prominent of the SSP's six MSPs, and she was the only one of the six who was not already a member of the SSP executive. She was elected to the executive in early 2004, and at the February 2005 conference she was elected as one of the SSP's co-chairs. However she did not stand for re-election to this post or the executive committee at its conference in March 2006, stating that she was standing down for personal reasons.

Sheridan v News International

There was a controversial defamation case in 2006 between fellow SSP MSP Tommy Sheridan and the British tabloid newspaper The News Of The World, Sheridan v News International. Following this, Sheridan and Byrne split from the SSP, and formed a new socialist party which they named Solidarity. During the trial, in which Sheridan sued the News of the World for defamation and won, Byrne gave evidence supporting Sheridan. On 1 October 2006 the News of the World published fresh evidence which it claimed proved that their allegations were true and Sheridan had thus lied to the Court of Session during the trial. Sheridan was subsequently charged with[1] and eventually found guilty of perjury.

Both Byrne and Sheridan are accused by the IWW of betraying workers by unilaterally removing funding from the collective body which employed parliamentary staff.[2]

On 15 February 2008, Byrne was arrested on suspicion of perjury in relation to the Sheridan defamation trial.[3] However the Crown Office said that the matter would not be taken further at the conclusion of the subsequent criminal trial.

In December 2009 she disclosed she was suffering from breast cancer.[4]


  1. [1] Sheridan faces perjury charges[dead link]
  2. Manny Neira (15 November 2006). "Sheridan betrays own workers". Industrial Workers of the World. Archived from the original on 4 March 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Former MSP arrested in perjury investigation
  4. [2] Irvine Herald

External links