George Galloway blames 'New York-Tel Aviv axis of evil' for police referral over expenses claims

His former parliamentary assistant and Louise Mensch made separate complaints to expenses watchdog Ipsa about his use of public money

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The Independent Online

George Galloway has blamed a “New York-Tel Aviv axis of evil” for his referral to police by Parliament’s expenses watchdog.

Scotland Yard is examining claims that an assistant to the former Bradford West MP spent more time running personal errands for him than doing the official work her parliamentary wage was supposed to pay for.

Aisha Ali-Khan alleges that, during her six-month stint as Mr Galloway’s taxpayer-funded assistant in 2012, she was required to help plan his wedding, shop for underwear, sort out his laundry, make his breakfast and work for the Viva Palestina charity.

George Galloway's use of parliamentary funds was assessed by expenses watchdog Ipsa

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) referred the matter to police yesterday, following an assessment by its compliance officer.

Mr Galloway has denied the allegations and vowed to co-operate fully with a Metropolitan police investigation.

In a statement, he put the case down to an “embittered former employee”, adding: “I hope and trust that there will be legal consequences for all of those involved in this plot.”

Mr Galloway claimed Ipsa had passed his case to police “without even a call, an email or a letter” but a spokesperson for the watchdog told The Independent it initially informed him of the complaint in February and contacted him again yesterday about the police referral.

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch made a separate complaint to Ipsa about Ms Ali-Khan's treatment, which forms part of the same case.

Louise Mensch's complaint was made separately but forms part of the same complaint

Mrs Mensch, who now lives in New York, said she was “delighted” to be informed by Ipsa that the matter had been referred.

She added: “I made several complaints against George Galloway to the Parliamentary authorities before the dissolution. I have followed the case of Mr George Galloway and Aisha Ali Khan for a long time and am thrilled to have Ipsa’s letter.”

Writing on Twitter, Mr Galloway highlighted Mrs Mensch’s involvement and the fact that the law firm acting for Ms Ali-Khan has an office in Israel.

Referring to Mrs Mensch as a “New York Zionist ex Tory MP now Sun columnist”, he continued: “The Zionist Tel Aviv lawyer inspired complaint against me will soon be over. My campaign on the other hand is just about to begin.

“It's an outrage that a New York-Tel Aviv axis of evil can have parliament and media dancing to their tune. No paper will report these facts.

“The gloves are off. Watch this space...”

The Respect leader lost his seat as MP for Bradford West to Labour in the general election.

Trevor Asserson, a leading litigation solicitor representing Ms Ali-Khan, said his firm had analysed around 2,000 documents and records to estimate that she spent around 75 per cent of her time on non-parliamentary work.

“We have looked very carefully at the information and we believe this is a credible and compelling case,” he told The Independent.

Scotland Yard confirmed that they had received the referral and a spokesperson said the matter was “currently being assessed”.

Additional reporting by PA