EXCLUSIVE: A hardline British politician unlawfully broke national election rules, abused a charity fund, appeared on Saddam Hussein’s list of illicit oil beneficiaries, offered money and vehicles to EU-designated terrorists, supported disgraced dictators in three continents, was banned from speaking by British students for sexism… and more. Yet he could, and did, run for election to return to the British Parliament in December 2019 — and now may influence the result in a crucial by-election in Batley, northern England, on July 1 2021. We can tell you what most media have been too afraid to reveal.9 December 2019
He could also be expelled from parliament if he ever wins a campaign to return as an MP.
He previously sat in the House of Commons as a Labour MP, but was expelled from the party under the then-Prime-Minister Tony Blair in 2003 for ‘bringing the party into disrepute’.
A party hearing had found that he had incited British troops to defy orders to fight in Iraq, had threatened to stand against his own party and had supported an anti-war candidate.
Documents that correspondent.world can reveal show that he failed to report loans or gifts of more than £20,000 in election-related expenses in a previous campaign to become a Member of the British Parliament.
Correspondent.world was able to track down the bus company and payments made it after being granted special permission by a court to view and photocopy documents submitted to it by Ayesha Bajwa, his onetime Parliamentary aide.
Also, correspondent.world has evidence of credit card payments that indicate amounts were paid for running past election campaigns that legally had to be reported but were not.
Each allegation, if proven, could have led to criminal prosecution and could have spelled the end for the radical politician’s long and controversy-filled career as a Member of Parliament and as a radical political figure.
But the Electoral Commission have just sent us a message: it’s too late. The Commission says no report to it, or directly to the police, can now lead to a criminal prosecution – because all this happened more than six years ago. It says Galloway would have had to be charged with the offence in 2016 at the latest.
But there are other areas of apparent malfeasance that cannot so easily be blocked. In a damning report published on June 6 2019, the Charity Commission for England and Wales accused Viva Palestina, a charity that was synonymous with him, of being totally unable to account for tens of thousands of pounds it had collected from the public. The Commission could also not find any mobile phones, yet whoever was using them had incurred costs of over 33,000 pounds in three years, the Commission’s report said.
The Commission said it could also not trace a slew of purchased equipment including walkie-talkie land-mobile radios. And there were no records to show what was done with tens of thousands of pounds paid to Viva Palestina by the public, including £3,258 collected from an online appeal for “cement”. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-inquiry-viva-palestina/viva-palestina-formerly-a-registered-charity
But to return to election fiddles. The most serious allegation uncovered by correspondent.world is that Galloway borrowed over 32,000 pounds for election expenses and, at the time court papers were filed, had still not paid back many thousands of pounds he owed from these loans.
He claimed these were mainly donations – but the Electoral Commission confirmed in writing to correspondent.world today that whether money came as a donation or a loan made no difference. Any loans or donations totalling over 5,000 pounds, it said, needed to be reported to the regulators of the election or to the parliamentary oversight body. They were not.
Another accusation presented to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was that an employment rip-off by Galloway had cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds. These allegations have come to light in an investigation by correspondent.world.
Galloway, when 65, failed two years ago to become an MP again – two years after losing a bitter campaign to retain a Parliamentary seat in Bradford West. In April 2012 he had won a by-election there – under the banner of the hard-left Respect Party – against Labour, which had expelled him nine years earlier.
Now he’s running — and using his normal rabble-rousing megaphoned speech on top of his ‘battle-bus’ — in a bitter campaign in the north England town of Batley. If he gets sufficient votes he may ironically allow a Conservative to defeat the candidate for the Labour Party, which has held the seat in Batley for many years.
Bajwa’s allegation had come in a court document claiming that, in the months before the 2010 General Election, he had borrowed the money.
In a statement responding to the allegations, the MP said he was not aware whether such payments had been made or not.
In terms of the Electoral Administration Act of 2006, all loans for the support of election campaigns must be declared to the Electoral Commission. The Commission has told correspondent.world it has no record of Galloway or the Respect Party having registered any such donation or loan.
Bajwa, who was paid a salary by the taxpayer as his Parliamentary Assistant from 2007 until he lost an east London seat in 2010, provided a list, in her High Court papers, of what she said were payments she made to Galloway for his election campaigning. She also supplied another list of what she said are refunds made to her. They indicated that much of the money has not been repaid.
From March 2007 to May 2010 she said payments she made for his election campaigns and activities, including hiring campaign buses and printing election material, amounted to £32,391.44.
She also maintained that, when she said she was running out of funds for further loans to him, Galloway asked her to borrow money. She said, to do that, in 2011 she took out a £25,000 loan from Lloyds TSB Bank to pay Galloway’s VAT and tax liabilities.
Correspondent.world has managed to track down two of those so-called loans. The receipts show that Ensign Bus Company, based in Essex, hired out buses and drivers to ‘The George Galloway Election Fund’ and was paid £10,800 by Bajwa in the 2010 election in Poplar and Limehouse. She used her credit card, whose payment slips we have seen and copied.
A leaflet distribution company in 2010 received £7,212.15 for “George Galloway MP” through a private credit card.
Under the strict rules of the Electoral Commission, set up by Parliament, all loans or donations made in the same calendar year must be reported if their combined value exceeds £7,500. Loans or donations made to Members of Parliament must be reported if they exceed £1,500.
While not denying the allegations, Galloway has made a written statement saying he had not seen any “corroborating documentation” to prove that Bajwa had made the election payments.
He said: “If they were made then it seems likely that expenditures were made on behalf of the Respect Party and would count as a donation to the party. However if Bajwa did not inform the party of them then any failure to report them must lie with her and not with either me or the Respect party.”
However, the electoral rules contradict this. They state that it is the political party’s legal duty to register any donations or loans, not the person making the donation or loan. Galloway was often pictured on the buses for which Bajwa says she paid, and was heavily featured in the leaflets.
In total Bajwa claimed that Galloway still owed her over 120,000 pounds in money she had loaned him for various purposes between 2007 and 2012. In court papers obtained by correspondent.world with permission of the High Court, Galloway stated that Bajwa was having an “intimate” relationship with him – kept secret, he maintained, partly because he was already officially married to another woman.
The bulk of the money provided by Bajwa to him was not a series of loans, he asserts, but was meant as a gift or was for household expenses.
Bajwa denied there was an intimate relationship. Despite having at first vigorously denied the claims, Galloway eventually settled the matter out of court for an undisclosed sum.
However the court papers reveal that Galloway admitted borrowing £49,914 to help pay for a London home he was buying. In a defence statement, he agreed to pay that sum back to Bajwa by bank transfer in June 2014 – more than four-and-a-half years after the loan was made. In the court papers Galloway maintained he had been under no obligation to pay it back until the house was sold.
The Parliamentary aide who succeeded her, Aisha Ali-Khan, now 39, had also, separately, claimed she was owed money for items she purchased on Galloway’s behalf. These had, she said, included a £600 iPad for her use as his Parliamentary Assistant, and 474 pounds for hiring a registrar to officiate at Galloway’s marriage ceremony.
An attempt by Galloway to destroy her reputation was rejected by the High Court, which awarded damages to Ali-Khan for libel in 2016.
He admitted he had wrongly accused Ali-Khan of acting as a police agent.
Galloway’s lawyer told the court his client had made defamatory allegations and would pay her damages and her legal costs.
Galloway, aged 65, has consistently engendered controversy during a political career that has spanned for more than a quarter of a century. Besides courting Saddam Hussein, he has been thrown out of the Labour Party, suspended from parliament, and famously branded a laughing stock for pretending to be a milk-licking cat on Big Brother.
However, this did not appear to unduly hamper his political career. And, far overshadowing his £67,000 annual Parliamentary income, his notoriety helped him make a declared income exceeding 250,000 pounds a year from lucrative contracts to present television and radio programmes – the two main income-sources being paid by companies owned by or associated with Iran or its militant affiliates (Press TV and Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV). Iran had during that time been under trade sanctions imposed by Britain, the EU and the United Nations over its nuclear programme.
After losing the Bethnal Green and Bow seat he was contesting in the 2010 general election, [he had been MP for a different seat ] he bounced back two years later with a shock landslide by-election victory in the formerly safe Labour seat of Bradford West, which he then lost heavily to Labour in 2015.
His current effort is likely doomed — but he could win enough voted, primarily from Muslim voters, to get the Conservative candidate elected and defeat the incumbents, labour. He makes this clear in his propaganda.
In another blow to the beleaguered Galloway, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) announced in 2015 that it was investigating allegedly illegal overpayments that Galloway was claiming for Ali-Khan’s parliamentary salary – he claimed £30,000, and was paid this sum by the taxpayer. His total wage bill in 2012 and in the years preceding it exceeded £100,000 annually. The case was later referred by IPSA to the police.
NOTE: The results of the 2019 national election showed that Galloway received only 469 votes, whereas the winner and the second-placed candidates received over 16 thousand votes each. Galloway has announced he is not giving up politics; indeed launched a new party.