'A very senior officer in SO15 has been feeding disinformation aimed at damaging me to a national newspaper and to others, aided by a member of staff in Bradford who has now been suspended,' Galloway said. 'This involved him using the Met email as well as creating at least two false email addresses to spread the deceit. I have incontrovertible evidence. He either did this a freelance or it was sanctioned by his superiors. I have today asked the Home Secretary Theresa May to act on this and I have also written to the Met police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and to the Speaker of the House of Commons.'
The letter to Theresa May is below with the names redacted.
Dear Home Secretary,
I am writing to you to ask you to investigate the behaviour of a senior member of the Metropolitan police's counter-terrorism squad SO15 who, I believe, has been carrying out a campaign of vilification – a dirty tricks operation - against me in my constituency using police facilities and resources. I would also like to know whether this unwarranted intrusion was sanctioned by the Commissioner or other senior SO15 officers.
The officer's name is xxxxx. It is my understanding that his role is to investigate and report on radical Muslim groups. But perhaps you can clarify his remit precisely?
My first contact with xxxxx came on the day of a burglary at my home in Streatham in June. He was introduced to me by my then parliamentary assistant xxxxx. It is my understanding that the two had had, and were having, a relationship. She brought him to the house as a 'security adviser' who could give advice on how to make the house more secure after the local officers investigating the break-in had left.
However, within hours of that I learned that he and xxxxx had been sleeping in my house, and without permission, while I was abroad. This came out because he had to tell the officers investigating the burglary that his fingerprints would be found in the house. I asked the local officers informally to report on this to his bosses. I heard no more and neither have I heard any more about the burglary. I should, of course, have dismissed xxxxx but foolishly I gave her a second chance.
I have now discovered that she has been leaking and distorting information from within my office and handing it on to xxxxx who, apart from using his Met police email address, has set up at least two others to pump out false information to national newspapers.
For instance, on October 1 from his address (email@example.com) he sent an email to her (firstname.lastname@example.org) which included this: 'I think there was an election fraud. I found out the printer of the election voting cards is a member of respect. the postman for the postal votes was also a member of respect party. And finally there was a rush of new voters with the name of Ali. There were 450 voters apparently all staying at the midland. And finally the gypsies came in to support GG via the Westfield site.'
Now apart from this being utter tosh – you will recall my majority was more than 10,000 and there has, to my knowledge, been no enquiry into voting irregularities in the by-election – it is a blatant attempt to set a pernicious lie running in an attempt to blacken me in my constituency and in parliament.
Again, on October 3, he emailed her from his Met address with an extensive email on tactics she should employ and which defamed several members of staff and volunteers. I can supply a copy of both of these emails.
Going on from that he, with the encouragement of his accomplice, my employee, set up at least two false email accounts so that they could pass on rumour, disinformation and downright lies to the Guardian reporter Helen Pidd. I presume she was unaware that 'Nabeel Raja' was xxxxx and that he was in a conspiracy with xxxxx.
I have now suspended xxxxx pending dismissal.
I think you will agree that the behaviour of this senior officer in carrying out this dirty tricks campaign goes well beyond his role in counter-terrorism and is a direct attack on not just me but on democracy. I will be writing separately to the Metropolitan police commissioner and to the Speaker but as xxxxx is ultimately responsible to you (and parliament) I would ask you to look into this and let me know the result of your investigation.
George Galloway MP