Respect MP George Galloway will not be prosecuted over remarks in a speech during which he declared that Bradford was “an Israel-free zone”.
The comments, made by the Bradford West MP in August, caused an outcry on social media and complaints were made to West Yorkshire Police.
Today, the force said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not believe there was sufficient evidence to support charges but also said it had logged it as a “hate incident”.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “West Yorkshire Police received a number of complaints about the content of a speech made by Bradford MP George Galloway on August 2 this year.
“A full investigation has been carried out, which included Mr Galloway being voluntarily interviewed under caution. A file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether any offences had been committed and they have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support any charges.”
Mr Galloway responded to the news, saying: “This has been an extremely expensive waste of police and CPS time forced on them by ultra-Zionists who were pursuing a vendetta against me.
“My comments were aimed at the state of Israel, which – I repeat what I said at the time – is an illegal, savage and barbarous state, and had nothing whatever to do with race or religion.”
He added: “I take back not a word and I will continue to forcefully condemn Israel. It remains the case that there is a worldwide boycott of Israel, its goods, its services, its academics.
“I hope the citizens of Bradford will join me in refusing to treat with the advocates of this hateful and oppressive regime and truly make Bradford an Israel-free zone.”
In one part of his speech which can be seen online, Mr Galloway said: “We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone.
“We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or college.
“We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so.
“We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.”
Mr Galloway was filmed in front of the Palestinian flag.