ISRAEL despatched its UK ambassador to Bradford today as a result of controversial comments by Bradford West MP George Galloway which have already seen him become the subject of complaints to police.

Daniel Taub said he was in the city as a result of invitations from within its community and would be using the visit to hold a series of meetings with councillors, faith leaders and other groups.

That invitation came as a result comments from Respect MP Mr Galloway that the city should become an Israel free zone, without academics, tourists, goods or services from that country.

Mr Taub said his first impressions of Bradford was of a city with different attitudes to those promoted by Mr Galloway.

He told the Telegraph & Argus: "My sense, even from a short visit, is that the real voice of Bradford is not the voice of exclusion we hear from George Galloway but the voice of inclusion.

"It is an important model of how people from all faiths and backgrounds can live and work and co-operate together.

"That is an important model for our region as well," he said.

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed they are still investigating complaints about comments made by Mr Galloway at a meeting of his Respect party in Leeds earlier this month.

His comments were filmed and ended up on Youtube, gaining a wider audience. He has made similar comments in Bradford at a meeting in City Park called rally support for the Palestinian community in the face of military action by Israeli forces in the Gaza area.

Mr Taub said his message to George Galloway was: "If you look at our region, the real conflict is not between Sunni and Shia, or between left and right. It is between the past and the future.

"I would say don't be one of the people who tries to draw the region back into the past but join us in trying to make a better future for all the people in the region."

Another Bradford MP has also re-ignited the debate over the action in Gaza, however. Bradford East MP David Ward tweeted saying the ambassador's visit was "a good opportunity to let him know the strength of feeling here about the Israeli attack on Gaza."

Mr Ward was investigated but cleared of bringing his Lib Dem party into disrepute with a previous tweet on the topic of missiles being fired from Gaza into Israel.

Mr Taub's visit to the city has been arranged amid tight security and he said: "Bradford encourages dialogue and I believe in that too, that is why I have come.

"I am here because I was invited to come by the people of Bradford, who sent a clear message that George Galloway does not represent them.

"I don't believe George Galloway is the real voice of Bradford, there is a long history of co-operation between Bradford and Israel," he said.

That included support from within the city when new schools have been established in Israel in the past, he said.

He also questioned the "selectiveness" of Mr Galloway's concerns for the impact of conflicts within the Middle East and raised the issues of the many thousands who have died as a result of actions by forces controlled by President Bashar al Assad, or the plight of Christians at the hands of IS extremists in Iraq.