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Rosemary Byrne

Leader of Solidarity
Assumed office 
3 September 2006
Preceded by New Position

In office
1 May 2003 – 3 May 2007

Born 3 March 1948 (1948-03-03) (age 61)
Political party Solidarity

Rosemary Byrne (born 3 March 1948, Irvine) co-convenor of Solidarity (Scotland) and a former Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the South of Scotland 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. 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. At the February 2005 conference of the SSP she was elected as one of its 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.

Following a controversial defamation case in 2006 between fellow SSP MSP Tommy Sheridan and the British tabloid newspaper The News Of The World both Sheridan and Byrne split from the SSP. They then 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 the 1 October, 2006 the News of the World published fresh evidence which it claims proves that their allegations were true and Sheridan had thus lied to the Court of Session during the trial. Sheridan was subsequently charged with perjury. [1]

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

On 15th Feb 2008, Byrne was arrested on suspicion of perjury in relation to the Sheridan defamation trial[3] However as of December 2009 this matter has not been taken any further.

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


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