Road to European Elections 2024

Pro-Palestinian firebrand Galloway wins Rochdale by-election in blow for UK Labour

Pro-Palestinian firebrand Galloway wins Rochdale by-election in blow for UK Labour

Pro-Palestinian firebrand Galloway wins Rochdale by-election in blow for UK Labour

LONDON — George Galloway, a pro-Palestinian firebrand who has attacked Labour’s stance on the Israel-Gaza war, won the Rochdale by-election at a canter Thursday in a blow to the U.K. opposition party.

Following a bad tempered and at-times chaotic contest, the veteran former Labour MP who was kicked out of the party under Tony Blair in the 2000s, won in Rochdale by almost 6,000 votes — and immediately took aim at Labour’s current leader.

“Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza,” Galloway declared, after running a stridently pro-Palestinian campaign in his efforts to win the seat for his own Workers Party of Britain. Starmer, he said, would “pay a high price, in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe.”

The opposition Labour party had initially been expected to hold on to the seat in Greater Manchester in a contest triggered by the death of long-serving MP Tony Lloyd.

But Labour was forced to publicly suspend its campaigning for its candidate in the seat, Azhar Ali, after he claimed Israel had “allowed” the Hamas attacks on October 7.

With no party machine behind him, Ali stayed in the race as the de-facto Labour candidate — but he finished in fourth place, behind the Conservatives, an independent candidate and Galloway.

The opposition Labour party had initially been expected to hold on to the seat in Greater Manchester | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Galloway — elected to parliament for the seventh time in a long and controversial career — has attacked both the Conservatives and Labour for supporting Israel in its war against Hamas. Ejected from Labour after strident criticism of then-PM Tony Blair over the Iraq war in 2003, Galloway became a TV personality and persistent by-election winner for smaller parties by attacking Labour from the left, particularly on foreign policy.

Speaking after his victory, Galloway declared that Labour Leader Starmer and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “are two cheeks of the same arse. And that arse was spanked, knocked out of the park.”

His victory underlines the deep divisions in the U.K. over the Gaza conflict, which has seen some British MPs raise fears for their safety amid heightened tensions.

Read the article on the source site – Better Democracy is an information project, with the goal of ensuring better knowledge regarding europe, the EU and its politics.

Conflict,George Galloway,Iraq,Israel,Israel-Hamas war,Keir Starmer,Parliament,Rishi Sunak,Safety,Tony Blair,United Kingdom,War,Westminster bubble

#ProPalestinian #firebrand #Galloway #wins #Rochdale #byelection #blow #Labour

STAY UPDATED