George Galloway
Galloway suffered broken ribs and bruising as a result of the 'religiously-aggravated' assault.Reuters

A 39 year-old man from north London has been charged in connection with an assault on Respect MP George Galloway in West London.

Galloway was posing for photographs on a street in Goldborne Road, Notting Hill on Friday when a man leapt on him and began raining punches.

At the same time the man made references to the Holocaust and Gaza, apparently calling Galloway "Hitler".

Galloway's spokesman said: "George was posing for pictures with people and this guy just attacked him, leapt on him and started punching him. It appears to be connected with his comments about Israel because the guy was shouting about the Holocaust."

Neil Masterson, from Camden Hill, will appear before Hammersmith Magistrates' Court on Monday, said the Metropolitan Police, charged with "assault by beating which is religiously aggravated on a male in his 60s and also common assault on a male in his 40s".

The second victim is believed to be a bystander who stepped in on Mr Galloway's behalf.

Galloway spent the night in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington before going home this morning. He is said to be shaken by the attack, which it is believed may have been as a consequence of his uncompromising views on the Middle East.

Speaking of the assault on Gaza, the Bradford West MP declared the city an "Israeli-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 the college, we don't even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, even if any of them had thought of doing so." The speech is being investigated by police.

Always a colourful, if controversial politician, Galloway was also attacked in London in 2008 when he was hit by a rubber ball as he campaigned on an open-topped bus. A man was arrested and cautioned over that incident.