Suggestions that George Galloway should be readmitted to the Labour party are rather bewildering. As chair of the women’s parliamentary Labour party, I am sure that there would be an almighty revolt.
Galloway has an ugly track record in opposing Labour women. Talk to Naz Shah, the brilliant new member of parliament for Bradford West, who described Galloway’s election campaign as ‘misogynistic, vitriolic and very dangerous’. He questioned her revelation that she had been forced into marriage at the age of 15, totally missing the point that it was a forced marriage.
Oona King lost her Bethnal Green and Bow seat in 2005. On the BBC’s election results programme Galloway was asked by Jeremy Paxman, ‘Are you proud of having got rid of one of the very few black women in parliament?’
A little more insight into the man was revealed when Salma Yaqoob resigned as leader of Respect over Galloway’s podcast in which he explained, ‘Not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them.’ Kate Hudson, who had been planning to stand as Respect’s candidate in the Manchester Central by-election in 2012, pulled out of the contest following the remarks.
I have spoken to Jeremy Corbyn and he has told me he is not in favour of letting Galloway back in. I have had it suggested that those arguing for his readmission want to stop him standing in the London mayoral election and damaging the prospects of our superb candidate Sadiq Khan. Galloway stood for the London assembly in 2008 and got two per cent of the vote. I think we should have faith in Sadiq, a candidate who personifies London in all its glorious diversity.
Dawn Butler MP is chair of the women’s parliamentary Labour party. She tweets @DawnButlerBrent
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