- Aisha Ali-Khan, 34, worked for MP George Galloway for six months in 2012.
- She claims she spent most of her working day on his personal errands.
- Independent Commons expenses watchdog will now review her claims.
- Mr Galloway, who sacked Ms Ali-Khan, branded claims ‘a tissue of lies’.
George Galloway could face an investigation by the Commons expenses watchdog after his former parliamentary secretary claimed that he wasted public money on personal chores.
Aisha Ali-Khan has lodged an official complaint alleging she spent more time on Mr Galloway’s personal errands than she did on parliamentary duties when she worked for the Bradford West MP.
Ms Ali-Khan said she was asked to carry out a list of non-parliamentary tasks during her six months working for Mr Galloway in 2012, including shopping for his underwear and planning his wedding.
Solicitors acting for Ms Ali-Khan have now filed an official complaint with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), claiming Mr Galloway breached his obligations to use parliamentary funds only for parliamentary functions and activities.
IPSA could investigate Mr Galloway if it finds there is enough evidence to support Ms Ali-Khan’s claims of improper payments.
Mr Galloway has vehemently denied Ms Ali-Khan’s accusations, claiming his former employee, whom he sacked after just six months, had a ‘vendetta’ against him.
Ms Ali-Khan, a former teacher from Keighley, West Yorkshire, was employed by Mr Galloway shortly after he was elected as MP for Bradford West in April 2012.
She spent time in London before being moved to his Bradford office. She was suspended from her position in October 2012 and later dismissed.
During her employment, Ms Ali-Khan claims she spent most of her time carrying out Mr Galloway’s personal errands.
Here non-parliamentary duties included sorting out his laundry, making his breakfast and working for the Viva Palestina charity, she alleges.
She estimates that this means more than £22,000 of her annual salary was inappropriately spent.
Trevor Asserson, solicitor for Ms Ali-Khan, said: ‘We studied this complaint in great detail.
‘It is supported by a wealth of documentation and we believe that the complaint is both credible and compelling.
‘Mr Galloway is obliged to assist with IPSA’s investigation. He should provide it with his documents. That will enable the truth to come out.’
Ms Ali-Khan added that other staff, some more senior than her, were also paid public money for non-parliamentary duties.
The complaint is the latest in a string of legal challenges Ms Ali-Khan has brought against Mr Galloway.
Last year, Ms Ali-Khan was given a 12-month conditional discharge after admitting that she had encouraged her husband to illegally access emails for her while she was employed by Mr Galloway.
In a statement today, Mr Galloway said Ms Ali-Khan had been ‘widely exposed for her manipulative scheming and serial untruths’.
He said: ‘These allegations are a fabrication and a tissue of lies, which is custom and practice for Ms Khan.
‘She was an employee until I first suspended her, little more than six months into the job, and then sacked her. But she was also a Respect activist.
‘She is trying to claim that volunteer work carried out in her brief employment and in her own time was, in fact, undertaken and paid for on the parliamentary wage roll, which is a malicious lie I utterly refute.
‘Aisha Ali Khan was an incompetent employee, wilful and deceitful, who also made her own decisions, against instructions, which were usually wrong and repeatedly caused trouble for me.
‘She lasted a very short time as my parliamentary assistant in London and then I sent her to Bradford, where she proved equally incompetent and untrustworthy. After due process I sacked her.’