George Galloway: 'I sent Fergie pic of fake sheikh'
Former Respect MP George Galloway told Andrew Neil on BBC1'sThis Week programme last night how he had sent the Duchess of York an email picture of the News of the World's 'fake sheikh' Mazher Mahmood four years before she was the victim of one of his famous stings. It followed a press conference in April 2006 when Galloway 'outed' Mahmood by displaying his photograph and distributing it to journalists. Galloway had rumbled an undercover investigation by the News of the World, spearheaded by Mahmood, which set out to see if the MP would take illegal funding for the Respect Party. Galloway said last night: "I sent an email picture to Fergie four years ago after I unmasked the fake sheikh. I sent an email with a picture of him to every member of the royal family and every MP." He told Neil that he thought the News of the World sting on Fergie, in which the Duchess offered to sell access to Prince Andrew, on Sunday was justified. The News of the World took court action to stop Mahmood's picture being published after it was distributed by Galloway and asked newspapers not to use it, claiming he was the subject of death threats after playing a role in the jailing of 130 criminals. A temporary injunction stopping publication was lifted and the photo published by the Guardian and on the internet.
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at email@example.com You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery