A contender for the best newspaper journalism quote of the year?
When Scottish News of the World editor, Bob Bird, pitched up at the home of a friend of former MSP, Tommy Sheridan, he was asked to strip to his underpants.
The friend, George McNeilage, was worried Bird 'was wired', because the discussion that was to follow was going to be extremely delicate. McNeilage had secretly videoed Sheridan talking about his personal life, which had become the subject of an investigation by Bird's newspaper.
In court on Friday – giving evidence in the trial of Sheridan, who is accused of perjuring himself when he won a defamation case against the News of the World four years ago – Bird said he was asked to undress by NcNeilage who said he had evidence which could prove useful in the paper mounting an appeal against Sheridan's victory.
McNeilage is a former founding member of the Scottish Socialist Party, which Sheridan was once leader of, and was also a 'best man' at Sheridan's wedding.
Said Bird: “McNeilage said, ‘Do you know who I am?’. He said, ‘I am Tommy Sheridan’s best man’, at which point my blood ran cold because I thought Tommy Sheridan was going to burst into the room with a video camera.”