George Galloway has announced he will be starting legal proceedings in an attempt to have his 11,000-vote defeat in the General Election overturned.
Galloway won the Bradford West seat for the Respect Party in a by-election in 2012, but suffered a 29.7 per cent reverse after last week's voting, losing to Labour’s Naz Shah by 19,977 votes to 8,557.
The Respect leader claims that Shah made "false statements" as part of the campaign. He also said he had uncovered “widespread malpractice” in polling, including postal vote fraud.
Shah has said she will sue Galloway for his claims about her.
Labour said his actions were "pathetic":
This is pathetic and without any foundation. George Galloway should accept he was booted out by the people of Bradford West. They saw through his divisive politics and made a positive choice, by a majority of well over 11,000, to elect a brilliant new MP, Naz Shah.
It has come to my notice that there has been widespread malpractice in this election, particularly over postal voting. We are in the process of compiling the information which will form part of our petition to have the result set aside.
The contest in Bradford West was a hive of accusations between the two candidates. Much of the mud has been slung over the details of Shah’s family background.
Before 7 May, Galloway made a complaint to the director of public prosecutions (DPP), saying that Shah had made false claims.
Galloway has been the subject of accusations himself: on polling day he allegedly sent a tweet reporting an exit poll before voting had closed – an act banned under electoral law.