A senior Metropolitan police counter-terrorism officer has been involved in a campaign of disinformation and 'dirty tricks' against George Galloway, which involved an agent in the MP's constituency office and also setting up a series of fake email addresses in an attempt to smear him.
Galloway, the MP for Bradford West, will tomorrow ask the Home Secretary whether the operation against him and the Bradford Respect party branch by the officer ('K') in the Met's counter-terrorism unit SO15 was sanctioned by his superiors, or whether it was a freelance campaign using police resources. He will also bring it to the attention to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
'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 will be asking the Home Secretary tomorrow (Monday) to act on this and also bringing it to the attention of the Speaker of the House of Commons.'
Among the 'allegations' made by Officer K through the Met police email was that he had evidence that there was voter fraud in the Bradford by-election - which Galloway won with a majority of more than 10,000.
The officer also slept in George's house in Streatham, London, along with the female agent on Galloway's staff, Ms A, when the MP was away, and he had to confess this when investigation of a break-in to the home would have discovered his fingerprints and DNA.
Ms A has now been suspended.
George Galloway's house in Streatham was broken into in June in broad daylight (and not for the first time). His aide Ms A was in the house and allegedly saw the profiles of the two thieves. A parliamentary laptop was stolen.
Ms A then said that she had a 'friend' in the Met who could advise on security. She invited him round that day, which was the first time George met Mr K of the elite counter-terrorism branch SO15.
Within 48 hours it transpired that this was not the first time the SO15 man had been in the house. He had to tell the officers investigating the break-in that his fingerprints would be found in the house as he had been sleeping there with Ms A while George was away. This is surely in breach of the police behavioural code. George pointed this out informally to the investigating officers but heard no more about this or, indeed, the result of their burglary investigation.
Although this was clearly gross misconduct and a dismissible offence George decided to give Ms A another chance.
It is now clear that Ms A was not just personally involved with the officer but that she was his agent inside the Bradford branch of Respect, passing on gossip and lies damaging to George and Respect to the case officer.
From evidence we hold it is clear that the two then decided not only to funnel disinformation to a national newspaper but to create it. Using his official email address at the Met Mr K claimed that he had evidence that there was voter fraud in George's successful by-election victory (which George won by more than 10,000 votes). He also sent several further lengthy emails from this address to his accomplice, Ms A.
The SO15 officer also set up at least two other email addresses to send out his disinformation – nosoup, junaidakram900 and nabeel.raja38.
We are of course aware of the identity of SO15's Mr K but have decided not to publish it on security grounds. We also have photographs of him and Ms A, both separately and together.