THE publisher of the now defunct News of the World is trying to re-start its appeal in the defamation case Tommy Sheridan won nearly ten years ago.

In the Court of Session yesterday, judges agreed to set aside three days in May for News Group Newspapers (NGN) to attempt to get the verdict struck down.

Mr Sheridan – then a Glasgow MSP – sued the former tabloid in 2006 over claims he was an adulterer who attended a swingers’ club in Manchester.

A majority verdict by the jury found in Mr Sheridan’s favour and awarded him £200,000 in damages.

However, a police investigation was launched weeks later due to the conflicting evidence heard in court.

The former Scottish Socialist Party leader, who left the SSP to form Solidarity, was charged with perjury in relation to his trial evidence.

After a trial at Glasgow High Court lasting 12 weeks, a jury found him guilty of telling lies in court about his attendance at the Cupid’s sex club in Manchester.

Lord Bracadale, the trial judge, said at the time: "By pursuing, and persisting in the pursuit of, a defamation action against the proprietors of the News of the World you brought the walls of the temple crashing down not only on your own head but also on the heads of your family and your political friends and foes alike.”

He was jailed for three years in 2011 but released after serving just over 12 months of the sentence.

The News of the World folded while Mr Sheridan was in prison, but publishers NGN tried to reopen the appeal in 2012 against the initial defamation verdict.

At the time, three judges refused the NGN motion as criminal investigations were ongoing north of the border into former senior staff at the News of the World.

However, the cases against the three figures – Bob Bird, Andy Coulson and Douglas Wight – have since come to nothing and NGN yesterday re-launched its appeal bid.

The judges agreed the case would be heard between May 10-12 next year.

NGN was represented in court by Roddy Dunlop QC, while Andrew Hajducki QC appeared for Mr Sheridan.

The former MSP has tried to challenge his perjury conviction by lodging an application with the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

A spokesman for NGN said: “We intend to pursue an appeal against the 2006 libel verdict in favour of Tommy Sheridan. This morning the court fixed that hearing for May 2016.”

Mr Sheridan did not respond to a request for comment.