Tommy Sheridan has no grounds for appealing his perjury conviction, says the court of appeal. Photograph: David Moir/Reuters
Tommy Sheridan's attempt to appeal against his conviction for perjury has been thrown out after judges in the court of appeal said his case was "unarguable".
In a leak of their ruling, the panel of appeal judges are understood to have upheld an initial decision by a judge in June that Sheridan had no grounds to appeal.
Aamer Anwar, Sheridan's lawyer, said he had not been officially told about the decision. He said he was "extremely disappointed", because the court of appeal had failed to give time for a Strathclyde police investigation into alleged perjury by witnesses at Sheridan's trial.
Anwar had urged the court of appeal to postpone a final decision until after Strathclyde police and the Crown Office had finished, at a joint press conference last month with Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has campaigned to expose the extent of the hacking scandal.
Sheridan was sentenced to three years in jail, for lying repeatedly about his private life after a series of exposes by the News of the World, which was itself dramatically closed down in July. Now serving his sentence at Castle Huntly open prison, Sheridan is expected to be released later this year or in January.
Sheridan claims there are significant doubts about the accuracy of testimony that News of the World executives and Andy Coulson, the former NoW editor and head of communications for David Cameron at the time of the trial.
Coulson was arrested last month and is under criminal investigation over the alleged hacking inquiry and a parallel investigation into illegal payments to police officers. In the Sheridan trial, Coulson denied on oath having any knowledge of payments to police or of hacking.
The court of appeal's rejection of the former Scottish Socialist party leader's appeal was widely anticipated in legal circles: many lawyers believed he had very slim grounds to challenge his conviction.
Many argued that the testimony about the hacking of Sheridan's phone had no direct bearing on the central charges that led to his conviction, that he had lied about his admissions to former comrades about visiting a swingers club.
Sheridan's supporters insist that clear proof or admissions of criminal misconduct by the NoW when it was investigating his private life would have influenced the jury, particularly over claims of illegally hacking his phone.
Anwar said they would continue to pursue Sheridan's case. "It's extremely disappointing. We had requested that the second sift appeal was cisted [suspended] pending the outcome of the major police investigation which is ongoing into allegations of perjury and paying police officers by the NoW, which had an impact during the Sheridan trial.
"But this isn't the end of the matter. There are other avenues still to be explored."
A FORUM discussing Tommy Sheridan . What and who to believe? It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt England is corrupt to it's very core. Therefore it is up to us, the public, to decide and make up our own minds about Tommy Sheridan.