A report just published by the Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons upholds a complaint by Tory council candidate Duncan Crossey. Mr Crossey brought a complaint after it had been raised by a local resident in the Shadwell ward of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Mr Crossey complained that Mr Galloway had failed to include the George Galloway Legal Fund in the MPs’ Register of Interests. The Fund had financed the Respect MP’s successful libel actions against the Daily Telegraph and the Christian Science Monitor.
For weeks Mr Galloway has been hypocritically complaining about a lack of transparency in the Labour Party’s financial affairs and he has now been found to be less than upright in his own affairs. The Committee concludes:
"We agree with the Commissioner that Mr Galloway should have registered the Legal Fund under Category 10 and the four individual donations that exceeded the registration threshold for Category 5 (Gifts). We therefore uphold Mr Crossey’s complaint. In the light of this conclusion, Mr Galloway should register both the Legal Funds and the relevant donations accordingly, within seven days of the publication of this report. In accordance with our usual practice in cases of failure to register an interest, we have asked the Commissioner to ensure that these entries appear in the next published Register in a distinctive form. If Mr Galloway fails to comply, we reserve the right to give further consideration to this case, and to report again to the House."
The outcome of the Tower Hamlets elections will be one of the most interesting of races to watch next Thursday night. ConservativeHome’s on-the-ground sources predict that half of Labour’s ruling cabinet will probably lose their seats and the council may, come Friday morning, have a roughly equal split of Labour, Tory, LibDem and Respect councillors.