“Fundraising for political purposes is seldom pretty” – George Galloway.
Galloway said to the Senate, under oath, today that the Mariam Appeal’s finances had been investigated by the Charity Commission he said that they had looked at “every penny in and every penny out” and cleared the Appeal.
I’ve seen that line taken by Stoppers on the internet but I was amazed to hear Galloway come out with it.
Because it isn’t true.
The Charity Commission report on the Mariam Appeal stated:
12. The Commission has been unable to obtain all the books and records of the Appeal. Mr Galloway, the first Chairman of the Appeal, has stated that this documentation was sent to Amman and Baghdad in 2001 when Fawaz Zuriekat became Chairman of the Appeal. Mr Galloway has informed the Commission that this documentation is no longer under the control of the original trustees of the Appeal and cannot be located by them. Mr Galloway confirmed that the Appeal did not produce annual profit and loss accounts or balance sheets.
Unfortunately it appears Senator Coleman was not aware of this very important section of the Charity Commission report and let Galloway’s distortion pass without comment.
Yet, it is absolutely vital to the main question of whether the pro-Saddam businessman Fawaz Zuriekat pumped oil for food cash, allegedly gained by kickbacks to Saddam, into Galloway’s political campaign.
Galloway promised two years ago to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight to make the finances of the Mariam Appeal public.
Will you open the accounts?
But to this day he has not kept that promise.