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George Galloway demands £5,000 from Twitter trolls who called him ‘anti Semitic’

British politician George Galloway has demanded Twitter users who called him “anti Semitic” pay up £5,000 for the stress they have caused.

The outspoken leader of the Respect Party has tasked lawyers to issue each guilty tweeter a letter that insists they pay the fee. The letters, which the Times claim to have seen, threaten legal action should the users not make the payments.

One of those recipients of the letter is reportedly a charity worker who only has around 75 followers.

The tweets were sparked by Galloway’s appearance on BBC Question Time last month. A member of the audience on the night suggested the politician, who is a vocal critic of the political landscape in Israel, has contributed to rising anti-Semitic attitudes in the UK. He rejected the claim during the programme and went on to post a blog that tried to clarify his stance.

Galloway was then involved in a heated dispute with Guardian writer Hadley Freeman, who posted and then subsequently deleted a damning tweet of the politician after he threatened legal action. The MP then revealed he had started legal proceedings against the journalist for her “defamatory comments”.

Criticism of the MP was further stoked when he decided to take part in a Twitter Q&A session last week that had to be cut short after he was sent a barrage of insults. The incident along with his legal threats roused people to make fun of him with the #libelGalloway hashtag.

Despite his criticisms of Israel, the politician has repeatedly insisted that he is not anti-Semitic. Last year, police investigated him after he declared Bradford –his constituency – an “Israel-free zone”.