George Galloway to launch legal battle against Alastair Campbell

George Galloway said he will try and prosecute Alastair Campbell

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The former MP George Galloway has announced plans to try and prosecute Alastair Campbell over the Iraq War, in response to Boris Johnson facing court over accusations of misconduct.

In a tweet the talkRADIO host said he has asked his lawyers to "urgently consider a similar prosecution of Alastair Campbell".

The tweet featured the hashtags "Iraq" and "Kelly", referring to the death by suicide of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly in 2003.

Dr Kelly had been outed as the source of a BBC report that a dossier on Iraqi weapons had been falsified.

Mr Campbell was director of communications for the Labour government at the time.

Mr Johnson will be summoned to court to face accusations of misconduct in public office over claims he was lying when he said the UK gave the EU £350 million a week.

The favourite to win the Conservative leadership race faces a private prosecution by campaigner Marcus Ball.

Lawyers representing Mr Ball lodged an application to summons Mr Johnson to court, claiming he had deliberately misled the public during the Brexit referendum campaign in 2016 and then repeated the statement during the 2017 general election.

In a written decision, District Judge Margot Coleman said Mr Johnson will be summoned to court.

She wrote: "The allegations which have been made are unproven accusations and I do not make any findings of fact.

"Having considered all the relevant factors I am satisfied that this is a proper case to issue the summons as requested for the three offences as drafted. The charges are indictable only.

"This means the proposed defendant will be required to attend this court for a preliminary hearing, and the case will then be sent to the Crown Court for trial.

Mr Johnson faces accusations of misconduct in public office

"The charges can only be dealt with in the Crown Court."

In her ruling, Ms Coleman added: "The applicant's case is there is ample evidence that the proposed defendant knew that the statements were false.

"One example is given that in a televised interview in May 2016 the proposed defendant stated, 'we send the EU £10 billion per year' and that therefore he knew that the £350 million per week figure (£20 billion per year) was incorrect."

A section of the judge's ruling included Mr Johnson's position, which described the application as a "(political) stunt".

His position in summary said: "This application is brought for political purposes. The position presented to the Court is that this is a disinterested attempt to improve the standards of political debate."

It added: "The application is a (political) stunt. Its true purpose is not that it should succeed, but that it should be made at all. And made with as much public fanfare as the prosecution can engender."

Mr Ball has raised more than £200,000 through a 'Brexit Justice' crowdfunding campaign to pay for the private prosecution.

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