Returning to London on Wednesday after a showdown with his accusers on Capitol Hill, Galloway insisted he had "won the battle of public opinion".

He appeared unconcerned that the Charity Commission had asked to see the Senate committee's evidence that he may have used an appeal fund to funnel oil allocations from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"It won't take them long to establish what the Senate committee said about the Mariam Appeal was wrong," Galloway said, referring to the fund he established in 1998 to help a four-year-old Iraqi girl suffering from leukemia.

"The Senate said that a French company, Aredio Petroleum, had performed an oil deal on behalf of the Mariam campaign. It was false and rubbish," he said.

"It will not take them long to investigate that. They (the commission) have already spent a whole year and a very large sum of taxpayers' money. They should not waste any more public time and money."

Combative testimony

Recently, the US Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigation subcommittee released documents that it said showed that Galloway and other international figures received valuable oil allocations from Hussein to reward them for their opposition to UN sanctions on Iraq.

"The Senate said that a French company, Aredio Petroleum, had performed an oil deal on behalf of the Mariam campaign. It was false and rubbish. It will not take them [The Charity Commission] long to investigate that"

George Galloway,
British MP

The panel claimed that Galloway received allocations worth 20 million barrels from 2000 to 2003, funneling them through the Mariam Appeal.

In combative testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the British MP vehemently denied the accusations, and accused the committee of maligning his name before giving him a chance to defend himself.

"They put out a report which was full of absurd claims and deeply damaging falsehoods," Galloway said on Wednesday.

The Charity Commission concluded last year that the Mariam Appeal did not misuse funds for non-charitable purposes.

But the body's director of legal services, Kenneth Dibble, said on Wednesday that it had asked to see the Senate committee's evidence and would re-examine its own material.

Iraq wars

"When we have that information [from the US Senate committee] we will look again at the material which we assessed during the course of the inquiry and consider whether anything further needs to be done," Dibble told BBC radio.

He said the commission's previous inquiry reconstructed the income and expenditure of the Mariam Appeal by looking at its bank accounts.

"When we have that information [from the US Senate committee] we will look again at the material which we assessed during the course of the inquiry and consider whether anything further needs to be done"

Kenneth Dibble,
The Charity Commissio, UK

But he said there had been "limitations" on the inquiry, as some of the Mariam Appeal's records had been taken out of the country by its then chairman, Jordanian businessman Fawaz Zureikat.

Congressional investigators consider Zureikat to be Galloway's intermediary in receiving oil proceeds - a charge the MP strongly denies.

Galloway has been an outspoken opponent of both Iraq wars and of UN sanctions, which he said had killed innocent Iraqis.

He was expelled from Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party after urging British soldiers not to fight in Iraq. Galloway was re-elected to parliament this month as a representative of his own anti-Iraq war Respect party.

'Cowardly cloak'

Last year, Galloway won a US$1.4 million libel judgment against The Daily Telegraph newspaper, which had alleged he received payments from Saddam's government.

However, he said he would not be able to seek redress from the Senate committee.

"These people launched this attack behind the cowardly cloak of parliamentary privilege so they are immune to legal action," he said.

"I think I won the battle of public opinion and I am going to continue my work. My battle continues to try and force the British government to withdraw our soldiers from Iraq, where they should never have been, where too many have been killed and where they are in grave danger."