“Whether dismissing antisemitism in our party or disrespecting the rights of women in our society, George Galloway has no place in the Labour Party."
This isn’t going to end well: in the same breath as announcing he’s tried to rejoin the Labour party, George Galloway compared opposition to anti-Semitism in the Labour party to Nazism.
It’s no surprise that a campaign has now been launched to stop the former Respect party MP from rejoining the Labour party.
On Sky news, the ‘firebrand’ LBC host said it was a ‘Goebellian lie’ to suggest Jeremy Corbyn was antisemitic:
“Corbyn is not antisemitic.”— Sky News Politics (@SkyNewsPolitics) February 20, 2019
George Galloway says the criticism against @jeremycorbyn is a “Black Op” and adds that it’s a “Goebellian lie” to suggest the Labour leader is antisemitic.
Follow live political updates: https://t.co/sTN6a7tnpq pic.twitter.com/HbMJCPglUK
It immediately sparked a backlash, with one person noting that ‘referencing Nazis “against anti-Semitism accusations really doesn’t help your case’.
Galloway was expelled from Labour during the Iraq war in 2003, after a party disciplinary hearing found he had brought Labour into disrepute for “inciting Arabs to fight British troops”. Galloway denied the claims.
One commentator noted that Galloway’s criticism of the Times – where some of the antisemitism claims have been revealed – jarred with the ex-MP’s work for similarly Murdoch-owned LBC:
George Galloway describes The Times as a “Goebells” propaganda machine pumping out slander against the Labour party. Conveniently, next time he’s presenting his show for the Murdoch-owned TalkRadio he can pop down the corridor to The Times newsroom and tell them himself.— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) February 20, 2019
Now centre-left Labour group Progress have launched a campaign to ensure he is kept out of the party.
They are calling on members to write to Labour Party General Secretary Jenny Formby to demand he is not let back in the party.
The website states: “[He] has stood against the Labour party at elections, has dismissed rape allegations from survivors and constantly appears on Russia Today, the state-run news channel of the Russian government that, amongst other things, defends rampant state-led homophobia in Russian society.
“He may have sent his one letter to the General Secretary, but if we flood the office of Jennie Formby with thousands of emails demanding that he stays out, there is no way that we can be ignored. We are the many, he is the few.”
Stephanie Lloyd, deputy director of Progress, said:
“I know Jeremy Corbyn has lost some MPs this week but replacing them with [former Militant activist] Derek Hatton and George Galloway is not the way to show he is listening.
“That’s why we’re calling on party members to email the General Secretary to urge her to reject George Galloway’s application to rejoin Labour. It’s time to say #nowaygalloway loud and clear.
“Whether dismissing antisemitism in our party or disrespecting the rights of women in our society, George Galloway has no place in the Labour Party.”
Responding to criticism, Galloway said on Twitter: “It is an industrialised systematised weaponised lie that #Corbyn or #Labour are anti-Semitic, or that being opposed to Israël equals anti-Semitism. Tell a lie big enough often enough and it will be believed. History tells us that.”
Former Liverpool Militant figure Derek Hatton was suspended from the Labour Party after just two days, after a tweet resurfaced from 2012 where he said: “Jewish people with any sense of humanity need to start speaking out publicly against the ruthless murdering being carried out by Israel!”
Allegations of antisemitism have been a key factor in the formation of the Independent Group in the past week.
See also: “5 reasons the Independent Group splitters should trigger by-elections”
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