The most virulently anti-Israel member of Britain’s Parliament suffered a disaster in Britain’s election as he lost his seat on Friday — and was reported to police for breaking election rules. He said “racists” and “Zionists” would be celebrating his defeat.
The far-left politician nicknamed “Gorgeous George” Galloway is a firebrand campaigner known for his championing of pro-Palestinian issues — to the point of declaring his city of Bradford off limits to Israelis. He was for years an outspoken supporter of Syrian president Bashar Assad and a critic of Western military interventions in the Middle East.
Galloway lost his seat to a candidate of the center-left Labour Party.
A stony-faced Galloway glowered from under a trilby hat as Labour rival Naz Shah won by 19,977 votes to his 8,557 in the northern English constituency of Bradford West.
“There will be others who are already celebrating: the venal, the vile, the racists and the Zionists will all be celebrating,” Galloway said in his defeat speech. “The hyena can bounce on the lion’s grave but it can never be a lion and in any case, I’m not in my grave. As a matter of fact I’m going off now to plan the next campaign.”
Since 2012 Galloway had represented the constituency as the leader and only MP of the Respect party, which grew out of opposition to the Iraq War that began in 2003.
On the same night, Galloway was reported to police because of a tweet that broke rules banning the publication of opinion polls while voting was ongoing.
The BBC reported that police had been given a screen-grab showing Galloway had re-Tweeted a message indicating he was ahead in the contest before the polls had closed — forbidden under British law.
“We have reported a tweet by George Galloway to the police who are dealing with the issue,” said Suzan Hemingway, acting returning officer at the count centre.
“It seems like a storm in a thimble,” said a Respect Party spokesman, saying he had not been told about any police complaint.