Former British MP Files Claim Against Immigration Minister

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Claim alleges defamation and misfeasance of public office


Galloway claim

Image source from DavidMartynHunt on flickr

In response to being banned from entering Canada, former British Member of Parliament George Galloway filed a legal claim against Immigration Minister Jason Kenny and his assistant Alykhan Velshi.  In 2009, Galloway applied to visit Canada to make speeches across the country about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He was denied entry because Kenney felt that Galloway was a threat to national security as a result of his financial support of Hamas, the Palestinian political party that is considered a terrorist organization by the government of Canada.

Galloway is suing Kenney and Velshi for abusing their authority and for branding the MP as a terrorist, and is seeking $1.5 million in damages.  The lawsuit also alleges that Velshi had notified newspapers in the U.K. that Galloway was banned, which was a breach of privacy.

Minister caused MP to lose his job, according to claim

Galloway argues that the 25,000 pounds that were donated to Hamas were intended to be used for aid.  Louis Sokolov, Galloway’s lawyer, said that Kenney’s decision to deny the former MP admittance was based on a “false pretense” that Galloway would be a threat.  As a result of the ban, Sokolov explains that Galloway’s reputation was affected across the globe, and that his personal security was threatened.

Sokolov will argue in court that Galloway lost his seat in the U.K. House of Commons as a result of Kenney’s claims, and that Galloway experienced “18 months of hell”.

MP threatened to file claim when visiting Canada

In October 2010, Galloway was able to enter Canada because a judge concluded that political motivations led to the initial ban. He embarked on a speaking tour of 11 cities across Canada.  During a speech in Toronto, he challenged Kenney to a public debate and announced he would file a claim against the Immigration Minister.

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