A LABOUR MP was given a public apology and ''substantial'' undisclosed

libel damages yesterday following a ''vitriolic'' newspaper attack.

The Daily Mirror and its sister paper in Scotland, the Daily Record,

accused Mr George Galloway of making disgraceful allegations about staff

at the newspaper group under the protection of parliamentary privilege.

The High Court in London heard that, in October last year, Mr

Galloway, MP for Glasgow Hillhead, tabled a motion in the Commons

inviting the House to reflect concern at allegations in the book The

Samson Option.

The book claimed the Daily Mirror's then foreign editor Nick Davies

had been involved in arms dealing, and told of the betrayal of the

whereabouts of alleged spy Mordechai Vanunu to the Israeli authorities.

Mr Galloway's motion called on the late Robert Maxwell, Mirror Group

publisher at the time, to appoint an independent tribunal to investigate

the allegations.

Mirror Group's response was to publish a vitriolic attack on Mr

Galloway on the front page of the Daily Mirror and page 2 of the Daily

Record, said the MP's counsel, Mr Tom Shields.

Under a photograph of Mr Galloway and another MP captioned

''Dishonourable men and dirty tricks,'' a Mirror editorial accused Mr

Galloway of making disgraceful allegations against Mr Davies without a

shred of evidence, and of exploiting and abusing parliamentary


The editorial also alleged that Mr Galloway was motivated by links

with an Arab terrorist organisation which would do anything to blacken

those it believed to be the friends of Israel.

A similar attack was published in the Daily Record, Mr Shields told Mr

Justice Waterhouse.

The newspapers now recognised that Mr Galloway did not behave

dishonourably and was not actuated by any ulterior or improper motive.

''For his part, Mr Galloway accepts that staff at Mirror Group did not

betray Mr Vanunu and had no involvement in his abduction,'' said Mr

Shields, announcing settlement of his libel action.

After yesterday's brief court hearing, Mr Galloway said: ''Robert

Maxwell was a thief and a tyrant and one of the worst criminals of the


''Those of us who opposed him over many years were subjected to

vituperative and remorseless attack by those he hired to do his bidding.

''The hearing today marks the end of a very long, vindictive campaign.

. . and I feel completely vindicated.''