(This is a guest post by tim)
The Mail reports:
Controversial MP George Galloway is suing the makers of hit TV show The Bill claiming an episode featuring a corrupt politician was based on him.
Respect MP Galloway, 53, is finalising talks with his lawyers this week after watching a three-part special called ‘Moving Targets’ – first aired on ITV in November last year.
The three-hour special – which focuses on fictional corrupt MP Paul Sagger – is said to draw on a number of similarities with the Bethnal Green and Bow MP, including links with Iraq and east London.
A source close to Galloway said the character, played by actor Tom Chadbon, shows ‘uncanny similarities to George’.
The source said: ‘He is in talks with his lawyers this week.
‘The legal action is based on an episode of The Bill shown last year where a politician with uncanny similarities to George turned out to be venal and corrupt – and that there was a clear inference.”
Galloway – who ordered in copies of the ITV show to watch at home – is believed to have been furious after watching the show and ordered his legal team to take action…..
The episode in question – which attracted a massive 6m viewers – follows a police investigation into a double shooting at a Rock Against Racism concert in which the fictional MP is hit in the shoulder by a bullet and another man – a Muslim cleric – dies.
In the search for the gunman officers from Sunhill – a fictional east London borough – uncover incriminating evidence against the MP in connection with the illegal importation of artefacts from Iraq.
In the final scene the MP is charged with smuggling.
Galloway, who was booted out of the Labour Party in October 2003 after condemning the invasion of Iraq, is said to be launching the legal action after viewing scenes – shown over a three week period from November 14 to November 28 – …
Galloway is believed to consider that the similarities between the character and him are ‘too close to have been an accident’.
A source said: ‘Galloway’s links with Iraq are well known, he is an east London MP and Sunhill is meant to be set in east London and the Rock Against Racism concerts are held in Victoria Park – which is in George’s constituency.
‘The 6m viewers who watched the episodes will have seen a man – about the same age as George – playing an east London MP with links to Iraq and Rock Against Racism being charged with smuggling
‘The conclusions are fairly obvious you would have thought.’
The Respect Party, co-founded by Galloway, even offers ‘Rock Against Racism’ t-shirts as prizes on its website.
Ron McKay, an official spokesman for Mr Galloway, said: ‘George cannot make any comment because of the current legal state of affairs.’
Besides being MP I can’t see any similarities between George Galloway and the MP in the programme.
The fictional MP is accused of receiving smuggled goods and not cash.
It is at no stage suggested in the TV show that the MPs wife was also in receipt of cash from Iraq.