Galloway sues 'Telegraph' for libel

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George Galloway issued libel proceedings against The Daily Telegraph and Christian Science Monitor yesterday in an effort to clear his name after they claimed he was in the pay of Saddam's regime.

The Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin is seeking damages and a public apology from the Telegraph after it alleged that he received about £375,000 from the Iraqi regime and met an Iraqi intelligence officer during a visit to Baghdad.

Mr Galloway has consistently denounced the reports in the newspaper as a "lie". The MP's legal team hopes to bolster his fighting fund with damages from the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, a publication that used as a source documents it has since admitted were forged.

The US newspaper has already apologised for printing claims that he received millions of dollars from the Iraqi regime.

Mr Galloway has instructed the London law firm, Davenport Lyons, which recently visited the Telegraph's offices to inspect the documents found by the newspaper in Baghdad.

The newspaper said last night that it "had received a claim from George Galloway's solicitors commencing proceedings for libel". Charles Moore, the editor of the Telegraph, said the action would be defended.

The maverick MP, who has been a member of the Labour party for 35 years, is also fighting attempts by the Labour leadership to throw him out. He was suspended by the party, despite protests, after he urged troops to disobey orders inIraq.