53. Our sole concern is whether Mr Galloway has complied
with his obligations as a Member of the House under the Code of
Conduct, and the related obligations arising from the requirements
of the House regarding registration and declaration of interests,
and connected matters, such as the extent to which interests may
inhibit a Member's freedom of action in relation to proceedings
in the House. We are only concerned with matters relating to the
operation and funding of the Mariam Appeal, and Mr Galloway's
relationship with Mr Fawaz Zureikat, to the extent that they have
a bearing on this matter.
54. The specific areas in which the Commissioner
considers that Mr Galloway has failed to comply with his obligations
- he did not register his interest
in the Mariam Appeal, or the individual donations it received
above the registration threshold;
- he did not declare his interest in the Mariam
Appeal on all occasions when he should have done so;
- he used his Parliamentary office and staff in
support of the Mariam Appeal to an excessive extent;
- he breached the advocacy rule in the terms in
which it was in force at the time.
55. Of greater significance, the Commissioner concluded
that Mr Galloway's actions have damaged the reputation of the
House through the steps he took to secure funding for the work
of the Mariam Appeal from the Iraqi government.
He is of the view that Mr Galloway "has consistently failed
to live up to the expectation of openness and straightforwardness
in responding to questions and in other dealings which is critical
to the continued effectiveness of the House's self-regulatory
One important respect in which the Commissioner considers that
Mr Galloway has failed to live up to these expectations is in
his allegations concerning the motivation and reliability of various
56. The first three points are independent of the
question of how the Mariam Appeal was funded and can be disposed
of relatively straightforwardly. In his oral evidence, Mr Galloway
"of course it would have been wiser" to have registered
these interests. Through his access to the substantial resources
generated by the Mariam Appeal, and by concentrating them on the
campaigning aspect of the Appeal's objectives, Mr Galloway could
reasonably be considered to be influenced in how he pursued his
parliamentary activities in relation to seeking the lifting of
sanctions against Iraq.
57. Given the overall scale of the Mariam Appeal
and Mr Galloway's acknowledgement that it was a political campaign,
we do not accept his assertion that "the Mariam Appeal in
no way supported my role as a Member".
On the question of non-registration, we agree with the Commissioner
that, given Mr Galloway's central role in managing and directing
the Mariam Appeal, he should have registered it and also all donations
it received above the threshold.
58. On the question of Mr Galloway's failure to declare
his interests consistently, he has accepted that he did indeed
fail to do so and has apologised to us.
While we accept his point that his views on Iraq were well
known both inside and outside the House, the requirement to declare
is absolute, and he failed to meet fully the requirements of the
House in this respect.
59. On the question of Mr Galloway's use of his parliamentary
office and staff in support of the Mariam Appeal, he acknowledged
that "because my campaign was bigger than most
may conclude that the amount of use of staff and other resources
was not normal." He maintained, though, that the staff member
who accompanied him on the Big Ben to Baghdad bus was assisting
him in fulfilling his parliamentary duties during that period.
60. Mr Galloway also argued
that it would be "unwise" to measure the use of parliamentary
time and resources against the maximum period of the Appeal's
activities because its activities expanded after the move to separate
offices in Northumberland Avenue. He said:
"In other words it was quite a small time
campaign when it was briefly overlapping with my Millbank office."
61. As the Commissioner points out,
the period during which the Appeal was run from Mr Galloway's
office was at least eight months. It covered the whole period
of Mariam Hamza's initial treatment. There is also evidence that
there was continued involvement by Mr Galloway's parliamentary
staff even after the Mariam Appeal acquired separate premises.
62. We accept that it can sometimes be difficult
to draw a clear line between Members' support for an external
political campaign as part of their parliamentary activities,
and broader support for campaigns of a more general nature. In
our view, there should be a presumption that Members' use for
external campaigns of parliamentary facilities and resources provided
at public expense should be both proportionate and incidental
to the performance of their duties as Members of the House. We
agree with the Commissioner that Mr Galloway's use of parliamentary
facilities and resources in connection with the Mariam Appeal
went beyond this.
63. We concur with the Commissioner, who
makes clear in his memorandum that no evidence emerged from his
enquiries that shows whether Mr Galloway has "directly and
personally, unlawfully received moneys from the former Iraqi regime".
64. On the specific areas referred to in paragraph
54, we now address the question of whether Mr Galloway breached
the advocacy rule. This turns on whether he knew, or reasonably
ought to have known, that the Iraqi government was in all probability
behind the funding of the Mariam Appeal provided by Mr Fawaz Zureikat.
Our conclusions on this and, in turn, other allegations that he
brought the House into disrepute rest on a wider analysis of the
evidence, to which we now turn.
65. If the Iraqi government had been funding the
Mariam Appeal, either directly or indirectly through intermediaries,
Mr Galloway would have been in breach of the advocacy rule in
force at the time.
Also, if he were to have sought funding by an indirect route,
so as to conceal from the House and the public the true source
of funding of a campaign to end sanctions against Iraq, this would
have reflected badly on Members generally and the House as an
66. Essentially, the evidence in this case, while
largely circumstantial, is also powerful. The Commissioner takes
the view that, taken together, the evidence before him demonstrates
- a substantial part of the donations
made to the Mariam Appeal by Mr Zureikat came from moneys derived,
via the Oil for Food Programme, from the former Iraqi regime,
and that consequently Mr Galloway's political activities conducted
through the Appeal were thus, in part, funded by the regime; and
- Mr Galloway at best turned a blind eye to what
was happening and, on balance, was likely to have known and been
complicit in what was going on.
67. Mr Galloway rejected the notion that funding
through the Oil for Food Programme could be described as "Iraqi
money". This is, however, purely a matter of semantics: those
selling oil under the programme first required options granted
by the Iraqi government. While it was from commission earned on
sales that actual resources were generated, the value stemmed
from the granting of the option.
68. As we have demonstrated in this report, we
agree with the Commissioner that there is strong circumstantial
evidence that the Oil for Food Programme was used by the Iraqi
government, with Mr Galloway's connivance, to fund the campaigning
activities of the Mariam Appeal. In acting as he did, Mr Galloway
breached the advocacy rule and damaged the reputation of the House.
We believe he was complicit in the concealment of the true source
of the funds for the Mariam Appeal. He was also in our view reckless
in the terms of the authority he gave Mr Fawaz Zureikat to act
in his name in relation to the Mariam Appeal. Further he was clearly
irresponsible in refusing to enquire into the source of Mr Zureikat's
substantial donations. His obligations to the House under the
advocacy rule required nothing less, given the dependence of the
Appeal at that point on those donations.
69. We turn now to Mr Galloway's response to these
allegations and his behaviour during the inquiry. In essence,
he maintains that the documents have been produced by his political
enemies, with involvement by the intelligence services, to discredit
his campaign to lift sanctions on Iraq. He maintains that Mr Robathan's
complaint should in any event be dismissed because there is no
evidence that he personally benefited from the funds from Iraq
and that Mr Yale's complaint lacked substance.
The Commissioner has nevertheless explained
why he has suggested that Mr Robathan's complaint be upheld notwithstanding.
70. We agree with the Commissioner that his painstaking
inquiry has revealed evidence that Mr Galloway has failed to comply
with the requirements of the House in relation to the registration
and declaration of interests in a number of material respects.
We also agree with his conclusion that Mr Galloway has acted in
several ways in a manner likely to bring the House into disrepute.
71. Mr Galloway's direct failures are in our view
compounded by the attitude he has taken to others involved, the
Commissioner, and the Committee. Some of those involving third
parties are chronicled in the Commissioner's memorandum,
and there are others in the oral and written evidence. We are
particularly concerned that, in his evidence to us, Mr Galloway
was unwilling to acknowledge that what he had said in the House,
under the protection of parliamentary privilege, about Mr Sherwell's
alleged conversation with the unnamed journalist had subsequently
been denied by Mr Sherwell.
We consider that he owes an apology to Mr David Blair for remarks
made about him in the same debate.
72. We agree with the Commissioner that Mr Galloway's
approach to the inquiry has been such as to damage the reputation
of the House. His description of the Commissioner's memorandum
as "laden with smear and innuendo"
is in our view quite unjustified, as was the allegation that the
transcript of his interview with the Commissioner on 30 November
2005 had been falsified. We are satisfied that there has been
no tampering whatever with the transcript and that, whatever remark
may have been made, it was never recorded by the shorthand writer
as part of the official record of the meeting.
73. Mr Galloway has been quick to accuse others of
inconsistency in their evidence, but he has himself given inconsistent
evidence on a number of significant points, including his involvement
in attempting to set up an Arab TV Channel;
on the authorship of letters;
on the Mariam Appeal's 'work programe'
and over whether he has ever been a signatory of the Mariam Appeal's
It is clear to us that he has not met the high standards that
he expects of others in the quality of his evidence.
74. Mr Galloway has accused us of being a politicised
tribunal and of
We reject these accusations absolutely. As fellow parliamentarians,
we resolutely defend the right of free speech and acknowledge
the way Mr Galloway has put forward, in trenchant terms, his views
on foreign policy in the Middle East. But this does not give him,
or anyone else, a passport to behave in a way that brings the
House into disrepute. The House has given us the responsibility
for deciding on cases of alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct
reported to us by the Commissioner after due investigation. It
is central to maintaining public and parliamentary confidence
in the self-regulating system that we do so on a non-partisan
basis. We have approached this case no differently from any other.
to the House
75. On Mr Galloway's failure to register and declare
his interests, he has recognised his shortcomings. As to his
use of parliamentary resources to support his work for the Mariam
Appeal, he maintains that this was relatively modest in scale.
We disagree and find that it went beyond what was reasonable.
76. Had these been the only matters before us,
we would have confined ourselves to seeking an apology to the
House. However, Mr Galloway's conduct aimed at concealing the
true source of Iraqi funding of the Mariam Appeal, his conduct
towards Mr David Blair and others involved in this inquiry, his
unwillingness to cooperate fully with the Commissioner, and his
calling into question of the Commissioner's and our own integrity
have in our view damaged the reputation of the House. In accordance
with precedent, we recommend that he apologise to the House, and
be suspended from its service for a period of eighteen actual
As the House is shortly to go into its Summer Recess, we further
recommend that Mr Galloway's period of suspension should begin
on October 8, the day it resumes.
104 Appendix 1, paras. 340-347. Back
Appendix 1, para. 352. Back
Q25, See also Q216. Back
Appendix 2, p. 141. Back
This would have included the donation from Neste Oil (a Helsinki-quoted
public company registered in Finland) see Appendix 1, para. 176. Back
Appendix 1, para. 349. Back
PCS Oral Evidence, Agreed Nore of Meeting with Mr Stuart Halford,
page 109, para. 22. Back
Appendix 1, para. 287. Back
See Code of Conduct, 24 July 1996 (HC(1995-96)688), paras. 53
PCS Oral Evidence, Q270-4. Back
Appendix 6, p.177. Back
Appendix 1, para. 352. Back
See Q257-8. Back
WE 116, p.126. Back
Q259-262. See also (written evidence). Back
See Q144-5 and PCS Oral Evidence Q590. Back
Appendix 1, paras. 85-7. Back
See paragraphs 39 and 40 above. Back
See Q111-3 and para. 11 above. Back
PCS Oral Evidence, Q275. Back
See Appendix 1, para. 247. Back
It is our intention that, in determining the duration of Mr Galloway's
suspension, no account should be taken of non-sitting Fridays
which, by virtue of Standing Order No. 12(3), are treated as 'sitting
days' for the purposes prescribed therein. Back