The former MP signals he is launching a legal challenge against his defeat in last week’s General Election.’
George Galloway has announced he is taking legal action against the newly elected MP for Bradford West, alleging her team lied about him to affect the outcome of the election.
Labour’s Naz Shah comfortably beat the incumbent Mr Galloway, from the Respect Party, in what was one of the most bitter election battles in the country.
Alleged smearing, online trolling, assault and a possible infringement of election law are all being investigated by police.
And on Sunday night Mr Galloway announced he was seeking legal action in the hope of getting the election outcome overturned.
“It has come to my notice that there has been widespread malpractice in this election, particularly over postal voting,” he said in a statement.
“We are in the process of compiling the information which will form part of our petition to have the result set aside.”
Mr Galloway said he had added more information to his complaints under the Representation of the People Act concerning allegedly “false statements made with the intention of affecting the result of an election”.
In response to Mr Galloway taking legal action, a Labour spokesman said: “This is pathetic and without any foundation.
“George Galloway should accept he was booted out by the people of Bradford West. They saw through his divisive politics and made a positive choice, by a majority of well over 11,000, to elect a brilliant new MP, Naz Shah.”
Mr Galloway won a 2012 by-election in by more than 10,000 votes – in a Yorkshire seat Labour had held since 1974.
The firebrand veteran held nothing back in the campaign, taking to the streets in the Respect Party’s battle bus with a megaphone.
His main rival was Ms Shah, who had no political experience but an incredible personal story.
When she was selected late in the campaign, Ms Shah told the media how she was sent to Pakistan to escape her mother’s abusive partner.
She was forced into marriage at the age of 15, she says, and had to bring up her two sisters back in Britain when her mother was jailed for murdering her partner.
Naz Shah’s story set the election race on fire in Bradford West, drawing huge amounts of interest from local and national media.
What followed was a campaign beset with allegations of smears on both sides, abuse online and two cases of alleged assault.
Ms Shah accused her rival of being an absentee MP, who did not attend Parliament enough to properly represent the constituency.
Mr Galloway responded by questioning her account of the forced marriage, alleging she was 16-and-a-half when the incident took place.
One voter in the city told Sky News he felt the campaign had been “distasteful”.
“A lot of dirty linen has been aired which didn’t need to be,” he said.
Even on polling night, Mr Galloway was reported to police for allegedly breaking election laws with a tweet about exit polls while polls were still open.
In the end, despite such a bitter contest, Ms Shah won for Labour by a margin few would have predicted.
When asked how she has managed to overturn a large majority and win by more than 11,000 votes, Ms Shah told Sky News: “It was about knocking on doors”.
“But I also asked every woman who was voting for me to talk to another two women and so on which got me hundreds of votes in support.”
Both Mr Galloway and Ms Shah strenuously deny any wrongdoing during the election campaign.