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Galloway wins damages

by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2008-08-07

George Galloway

George Galloway - photo: David Hunt

MP George Galloway has won £15,000 in libel damages against Jewish community radio station Jcom after it implied he was anti-Semitic and as a result, the station has now closed down.

The MP for Bethnal Green & Bow took issue with a programme broadcast last November in which a spoof character called "George Galloway" had a catchphrase of "kill the Jews, kill the Jews".

According to the judge, Mr Justice Eady, the words used were in "appalling taste" and "Mr Galloway is the founding member of the Respect Party and is prominent in denouncing racism and discrimination, and has no anti-Semitic or racist views."

Following the judgement, Galloway said: "I'm pleased that this judgment has categorically crushed the slur of anti-Semitism. I have fought racism, all forms of racism, all my political life. I continue to do so and will also continue to vigorously defend my reputation."

According to Galloway, he had to take the station to court following a lack of response from them to agree a suitable apology.

"Jcom initially brushed aside my complaint about the broadcast, then refused to agree a form of words by way of apology, then published on its website a form of words that I found unacceptable, leaving little option but legal action."

Jcom chair Jeremy Silverstone said: "We have accepted that a brief defamatory statement was made on Jcom. We fully recognise the High Court's decision and hope this is the end of the matter."