The former MP George Galloway was forced to apologise in court today and pay damages to his former assistant Aisha Ali Khan after a three-and-half-year legal battle.
The libel case against George Galloway came about after the former MP claimed in 2012 that a very senior officer in SO15 (Counter Terrorism Command) had fed a campaign of “disinformation” aimed at damaging him.
He also claimed that Aisha Ali-Khan had conspired to run a “dirty tricks” campaign against him.
George Galloway even submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament against her husband (Afiz Khan), who was at the Metropolitan Police then.
Aisha Ali-Khan sued him for libel for his comments and, after a lengthy legal battle, got her victory.
Galloway was forced to pay a five-figure sum in damages.
We have also managed to get a hold of the full statements made in open court today.
Aisha Ali-Khan’s solicitor said:
On Sunday 14 October 2012, the Defendant published on his website a statement that a very senior officer in SO15 had been feeding disinformation aimed at damaging him to a national newspaper and to others and that the officer had been aided by a member of staff in Bradford who had been suspended. The Defendant stated that this conduct involved them using the officer’s Metropolitan Police email account as well as creating two false email addresses to spread deceit.
Four days later, the Defendant’s spokesman substantially repeated the claims to the Mail on Sunday which published an article stating that the Claimant and the officer had conspired to run a dirty tricks campaign against the Defendant and the Respect Party; that the Claimant had been used as a police agent; and that the Claimant had slept with the officer at the Defendant’s home.
The Claimant sued for libel. She had not been feeding disinformation or deceit to national newspapers or acting as a police agent. She had not slept with the officer, to whom she had married in a sharia law ceremony, at the Defendant’s home.
George Galloway’s representative responded:
My Lord, as my learned friend has explained, in October 2012 an article was published and interviews given by individuals for whom the Defendant bears responsibility in relation to the Claimant.
The Defendant accepts that these contained defamatory accusations for which through me he apologises.
He now withdraws these allegations. He has made a payment of damages for his defamatory comments and agreed to pay legal costs.
He has also undertaken not to repeat the defamatory publications or to make any further public statement about the Claimant.