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Galloway’s victory in Rochdale is a ‘dark day’ for Jewish community – live

Sunak takes aim at Starmer: ‘We expel antisemites, he makes them Labour candidates’

George Galloway’s victory in the Rochdale by-election is a “dark day” for the Jewish community,  the Board of Deputies of British Jews has said.

A spokesperson for the group described the new Workers Party MP as a “demagogue and conspiracy theorist” who has brought “division and hate” to every constituency he has stood in.

“His election is a dark day for the Jewish community in this country and for British politics in general,” the spokesperson added. “We believe he should be shunned as a pariah by all parliamentarians.”

The former Labour politician and Celebrity Big Brother contestant took 12,335 votes and became the only MP for the party he founded in 2019, whose number one pledge is to “end imperialist wars” and withdraw from Nato.

Labour apologised to voters in Rochdale after the result, saying it “deeply” regretted not being able to field a “suitable” candidate. The party also condemned Mr Galloway as a “damaging force in our communities and public life”.


Ministers urged to stick with manifesto commitment on conversion therapy ban

Ministers have been urged to fulfil their manifesto commitment and back the ban on conversion therapy proposed by Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

Conservative MP Alicia Kearns (Rutland and Melton) told the Commons: “On January 21, 2023, I laid an amendment to the (Online Safety Bill) on conversation therapy. We had the numbers, however I said to the Government if you say in a written ministerial statement, and if you will say on the floor of this House, that you will commit to pre-legislative scrutiny that will be completed by October, I will not move the amendment.

“I didn’t move the amendment because that commitment was given to the House. Does he therefore agree that we have been brought to this place because the Government has not delivered on its manifesto commitment despite having made promises on the floor of this House to Conservative MPs?”

Mr Russell-Moyle replied: “I quite agree and that is why I do think it is important that the Government supports this going to committee to thrash out the details later on.”

File photo: Lloyd Russell-Moyle

(PA Archive)

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 11:05


Watch: Galloway makes joke about Michael Barrymore’s alcohol addiction in resurfaced clip

George Galloway jokes about Michael Barrymore’s alcohol addiction in resurfaced clip

This resurfaced clip shows George Galloway making a joke about Michael Barrymore’s previous alcohol addiction. The heated exchange, which took place during their appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, has resurfaced following Mr Galloway’s by-election win in Rochdale on Friday (1 March) The two contestants came to blows following a row over a banking task which escalated. Mr Galloway shouts to Barrymore: “Poor me, poor me, poor me, pour me a drink.” Barrymore replies: “You are out of order”. The entertainer is then defended by his fellow housemates including Preston and Pete Burns.

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 10:53


SNP extends lead over Labour in Scotland

The SNP has extended its lead over Labour in Scotland as the Tories fell to their worst level of support since Liz Truss was leader, a poll suggests.

A survey of 1,043 people in Scotland by Survation showed the SNP had increased its support at the next general election by two percentage points to 38 per cent when compared to the same poll in January.

Labour, meanwhile, dropped by one point to 33 per cent and the Scottish Tories dropped by one point to 15 per cent.

(Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 10:40


Galloway’s deputy refuses to condemn Hamas terror attack

The deputy leader of George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain has declined to condemn Hamas’s 7 October terror attack.

Chris Williamson dodged the question earlier this morning during an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He said: “The two main parties have not condemned or indeed called for a ceasefire. They have not condemned the Israeli regime’s activities.

“But look, you can’t expect to live in a situation where people have been oppressed for 75 years and not expect a reaction.”

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 10:21


‘Dark day for UK Jewish community’ as Galloway wins in Rochdale

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said George Galloway’s victory in the Rochdale by-election marks “a dark day” for the UK’s Jewish community, Archie Mitchell reports.

A spokesperson said: “George Galloway is a demagogue and conspiracy theorist who has brought the politics of division and hate to every place he has ever stood for Parliament.

“His election is a dark day for the Jewish community in this country and for British politics in general. We believe he should be shunned as a pariah by all parliamentarians.”

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 10:03


John Rentoul: ‘Hatred’ for Galloway could unite Labour against him

The “hatred” for George Galloway in Labour could end up uniting the party against him, The Independent’s chief political commentator John Rentoul has said.

Mr Galloway threatened to be a thorn in the side of the Labour Party after winning the Rochdale by-election – dominated by the war in Gaza – and he has vowed to speak in the Commons on Wednesday when chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivers the Budget.

And there are concerns that he could try to stir up divisions in Labour over the Middle East conflict.

But Mr Rountoul suggested the “divisive” politician’s presence in the House of Commons could end up having the opposite effect and galvanise Labour MPs.

“He will raise the profile of the issue [Gaza] but there is also a countervailing force there because he is hated in the Labour Party, so if he tries to stir up that division…he may actually have a counter-productive effect in uniting Labour against him.

(Sky News)

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 09:48


Watch: Galloway pretends to be cat in bizarre role play with fellow contestant inside Big Brother house

George Galloway pretends to be a cat in resurfaced Big Brother clip

George Galloway pretends to be a cat in this Celebrity Big Brother scene, which has resurfaced following his win in the Rochdale by-election. The former Labour MP is seen nibbling from actress Rula Lenska’s hands in the famous reality TV scene from 2006. The politician purrs like a cat as his housemate scratches behind his ears for the TV cameras. The bizarre roleplay began with Mr Galloway purring: “Now would you like me to be the cat?” Then on his hands and knees, he pretends to eat from her hand. The leader of the Workers Party of Great Britain was announced the winner of the Rochdale by-election in the early hours of Friday morning (1 March).

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 09:16


Mapped: All the by-elections that have taken place this parliament

The Rochdale vote was the latest in a string of recent by-elections triggered by deaths, resignations and MPs losing their seats for bad behaviour.

Since the start of the current parliament in December 2019, there has been a total of 22 by-elections across the UK – two of which have taken place in Scotland with the remainder being held in England.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have, at the expense of the Conservatives, gained seven and four seats respectively.

Follow the link below to see a map of where all the by-elections have taken place, the result of each and the size of all the winners’ majorities.

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 09:06


Rochdale: No bounce for Tories despite chaotic Labour campaign – Sir John Curtice

There was no bounce in support for the Conservatives in the Rochdale by-election despite Labour’s chaotic campaign, polling expert Sir John Curtice has said.

Support for the Tories was down by a huge 19 points, broadly in line with most recent national polls.

“There is no sign here that the electoral gloom that hangs over the Conservative Party has in any way been dissipated by Sir Keir Starmer’s difficulties,” Sir John told BBC Breakfast.

File photo: Sir John Curtice speaks to the BBC

(BBC )

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 08:56


Many Britons will be disillusioned with Galloway’s election – senior Tory

Many Britons will be waking up this morning disillusioned by the election of George Galloway, a senior Tory has said.

Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, said it had been a “chaotic” electoral contest that should have been an “easy win” for Labour.

“Many Britons will be waking up this morning asking themselves, ‘If George Galloway is the answer, we don’t really know what the question is’”.

Matt Mathers1 March 2024 08:46

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