Following on from claims in the latest New Statesman that George Galloway had converted to Islam ten years ago, the maverick Bradford West MP is apparently threatening to sue the magazine.
The controversy over Galloway’s faith stems from the Bradford West by-election, in which leaflets were distributed strongly implying that he was more Muslim than Labour’s candidate Imran Hussain.
In a curiously specific rebuttal statement, in which gorgeous George patronises interviewer Jemima Khan as a “schoolgirl”, he denies he had taken part in a conversion ceremony in Kilburn — but does not deny he is a Muslim:
“The opening paragraph of Jemima Khan’s piece … is totally untrue. Moreover I told her it was fallacious when she put it to me. I have never attended any such ceremony in Kilburn, Karachi or Kathmandu. It is simply and categorically untrue.”
Leaving Galloway watchers barely enough time to microwave their popcorn, the Staggers hit back:
“It is notable that Galloway does not deny being a Muslim convert – and he did not deny it when it was put to him at the time of the interview, which is on tape. Contrary to his press release, nor did he deny that the ceremony took place when it was put to him during the interview. This is also on tape.”
But Sunday Express Whitehall editor and seasoned east end reporter Ted Jeory can recall speeches in which his religion was invoked – but this time it was Catholicism!
“I’m racking my brains on this, but I’m fairly sure George, when he was MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, used to refer to his Catholicism in his speeches.”
Indeed, this audio clip appears to show him identifying himself as Catholic as recently as 2010:
“God knows who is a Muslim” — but does George Galloway?