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Galloway lawyers study alleged libel over corrupt TV storyline

PUBLISHED: 17:48 30 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

REPORTS that MP George Galloway will sue ITV over an episode of The Bill are wide of the mark, the East London Advertiser understands. Sources close to Galloway said it was unlikely he would press ahead with legal proceedings because he does not have the 'appetite' for another libel case.

By Ted Jeory

REPORTS that MP George Galloway will sue ITV over an episode of The Bill are wide of the mark, the East London Advertiser understands.

Sources close to Galloway said it was unlikely he would press ahead with legal proceedings because he does not have the "appetite" for another libel case.

The Advertiser also understands that Galloway is bewildered why the controversy has only reared now, seven months after the episodes aired on ITV.

Because there was no publicity or accusations of libel at the time, sources insist that the current furore is against the MP's interests.

However, his official spokesman, Ron McKay, said because the matter was in the hands of lawyers he was unable to comment.

The Respect MP believes an episode of The Bill featuring a corrupt politician was based on him.

The three-hour special, centred on fictional MP 'Paul Sagger', and told of the character's links with Iraq and East London, issues never far away from the 53-year-old Bethnal Green & Bow Respect MP.

Six million viewers watched the fictional account of a police investigation into a double shooting at a 'Rock Against Racism' concert.

The fictional MP is hit in the shoulder by a bullet and another man, a Muslim cleric, dies.

During their search for the killer, Sun Hill detectives unearth incriminating evidence against Paul Sagger over the illegal importation of artefacts from Iraq. Sagger is charged with smuggling in the final scene.

In reality, 'Rock Against Racism' took place in Victoria Park, in Galloway's constituency, in 1978. A 30th anniversary gig, 'Love Music Hate Racism,' was held at the same venue in April.

ted.jeory@archant.co.uk


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