Diary: Is George really preaching as one of Islam's converted?


George Galloway, the newly elected MP for West Bradford, has denied that he took part in a ceremony years ago to convert to Islam. Mr Galloway, whose family background is Roman Catholic, is undeniably popular with British Muslims, particularly the young, but whether he is a Muslim is something he does not consider to be anyone else's business.

The topic was aired in the current issue of New Statesman magazine by the journalist Jemima Khan, who interviewed Galloway in Bradford.

She wrote: "He converted more than 10 years ago in a ceremony at a hotel in Kilburn, north-west London, attended by members of the Muslim Association of Great Britain. Those close to him know this. The rest of the world, including his Muslim constituents, does not."

The piece evoked a furious denial from Galloway. "I told her it was fallacious when she put it to me. I have never attended any such ceremony in Kilburn, Karachi or Kathmandu. It is simply and categorically untrue," he said.

But the Staggers retaliated with a statement saying: "It is notable that Galloway does not deny being a Muslim convert, and he did not deny it when it was put to him at the time of the interview, which is on tape. Nor did he deny that the ceremony took place when it was put to him."

Is he or isn't he? Last night, his people were not saying.

Taking the (seat next to) Micky

As Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, faced a gruelling session in the Commons he placed himself, either by accident or design, next to Michael Fabricant, a government whip. The question most often asked about Micky Fab, as Fabricant is know, is why is his hair so golden. That mop is not a wig, yet no one believes it is naturally that colour.

Micky was so pleased with the transient moment of fame that sitting next to an embattled minister conferred on him that yesterday he shared these thoughts with his Facebook friends: "Jeremy Hunt came and sat next to me during Prime Minister's Questions. Michael Gove did the same when he was in a spot of trouble a few weeks back and Andrew Lansley also did the same some months ago when there was a little controversy on his health reforms. Am I a jinx or am I a smiley face that they like sitting next to? (A Labour MP told me it was because my hair distracts everyone from whatever problem the Government might be facing. Perhaps I'm a sort of good luck gonk)."

Micky Fab, the Good Luck Gonk – he should put that on his next election leaflet.

Secret past of No 10 nanny

The Australian newspapers have unearthed a detail about the home life of David and Samantha Cameron that was not known on this side of the globe. They have hired a 24-year-old nanny named Sammi Strange, from Melbourne, Australia, after an interview conducted by Skype. "She was shaking when she found out it who it was. She was very excited and nervous," her father, David, who runs a barge business, told the Herald Sun. He added that she gets on well with the Cameron's three young children. There is a catch, however. Like so many others, Ms Strange has posted information about herself on the net, only to find that it can return to haunt her. Answering questions in an online survey, she confessed to shoplifting, smoking and drinking, but denied taking drugs "in the past month". When asked if she swears, she replied: "**** yeah."

Ken finds a friend for a rainy day

When Ken Livingstone defeated his younger rival Oona King for the Labour nomination for Mayor of London, nearly two years ago, he promised to offer her a job. He has now done it, a week before polling day. Lady King will be his adviser on youth matters, if he wins (though opinion polls are putting Boris Johnson a short distance ahead).

Yesterday, as Livingstone stood outside the Treasury to deliver a speech on youth unemployment, Lady King was to be seen holding his umbrella.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot