BRADFORD MP George Galloway has said he will consider legal action against anyone who calls him a fascist or anti-semitic.

The warning came in the wake of heavy criticism of the Respect politician after about a dozen Twitter-users were sent letters demanding £5,000 to cover legal fees and threatening action against those who posted or retweeted comments alleging he was anti-Semitic.

But a spokesman for the Bradford West MP (pictured) said he understood the request for legal fees was standard practice before any libel action was taken.

He said it was also important to point out that it was Bradford-based Chambers Solicitors making the request for payment to cover costs, and not Mr Galloway personally.

About 12 people were sent the letters which have prompted condemnation on social media, including the creation of the @SuedByGalloway account offering legal advice to anyone who received the document.

Yesterday, Mr Galloway's spokesman said the MP had did not know the content of the letters before they were sent, but confirmed he had instructed the solicitors.

Asked if he was surprised by the letters' demands and the public response, he said Mr Galloway was "surprised it was a story" at all.

"He's not asking for costs, these are solicitors' costs and I'm told that this is custom," he said, adding that two other law firms, including a national leader in defamation were also involved.

The spokesman said he had not asked Chambers how it justified the £5,000 fee, but said he would be speaking to the company and expected there was "a bit of legwork in tracking people down".

He said the anti-semitic accusations had come to Mr Galloway's attention through Twitter, but he had not specifically sought people out.

The spokesman added that in almost every speech Mr Galloway made, he praised Jewish people for their contribution to society.

"The argument is against Israel, it's not against Jews," he added.

"Anybody who calls him anti-semitic will be sued or at least receive a letter."

The comments accusing Mr Galloway of holding anti-semitic views were made following his appearance on Question Time last month when an audience panel asked of the MP should bear some responsibility for the rise in anti-semitism in the UK.

Chambers Solicitors would not comment on the case yesterday for reasons of client confidentiality.

A spokesman would also not answer any general questions about whether or not such letters were standard practice ahead of libel action.