George Galloway pays out to Bradford aide over '˜dirty tricks campaign'

A FORMER aide to George Galloway in Bradford has accepted undisclosed damages from the Respect Party leader over claims that she conspired to run a dirty tricks campaign against him.

Former aide to George Galloway, Aisha Ali-Khan with her husband, Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Afiz Khan

Aisha Ali-Khan brought libel proceedings in London’s High Court after Mr Galloway published a statement on his website in October 2012.

Her solicitor, Mark Lewis, told Mr Justice Warby it stated that a very senior officer in SO15 (Counter Terrorism Command) 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.

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Mr Lewis said Mr Galloway, the former MP for Bradford West, 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.”

Mr Lewis said Ms Ali-Khan had not been feeding disinformation or deceit to national newspapers or acting as a police agent and had not slept with the officer - whom she had married in a sharia law ceremony - at Mr Galloway’s home.

Mr Galloway’s counsel, Adam Speker, said he accepted that the article and interviews given by individuals for whom he bore responsibility in relation to Ms Ali-Khan contained defamatory accusations for which he apologised.

“He now withdraws these allegations. He has made a payment of damages for his defamatory comments and agreed to pay legal costs.”