George Galloway -- Foto Wikipedia

A LEFT-wing United Kingdom politician has registered a landslide win in a parliamentary by-election on a platform promising to advocate for Gaza.

George Galloway won the seat in the northern English town of Rochdale after a fractious campaign, which saw the Labour Party withdraw support from its candidate over his anti-Israel comments.

Galloway won 12,335 votes compared with 6,638 for second-placed David Tully, an independent candidate. The former Labour candidate, Azhar Ali, came fourth after the opposition party pulled its support after he was recorded espousing conspiracy theories about Israel. Turnout was low at 39.7 percent.

“Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza,” Galloway said on Friday, referring to the Labour leader who initially refused to call for a ceasefire in Gaza where more than 30,000 people have been killed in the past five months of Israeli bombardment.

“You have paid and you will pay a high price for the role you have played in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe presently going on in … in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Galloway, who represents the Workers Party of Britain, accused both Labour and the Conservatives of backing Israel as he ran a pro-Palestinian campaign in the constituency with a substantial Muslim population.

Israel’s devastating war on Gaza was a key issue in the elections during which local concerns usually dominate.

Divisions over Israel’s war on Gaza
Galloway, who has now been a British MP seven times, has been critical of Labour, a party he once belonged to before being ejected for criticising then-Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

His victory underlines the divisions in Britain over Israel’s war on Gaza, which has brought protesters onto British streets in support of both sides.

It will be the first time Galloway’s left-wing Workers Party of Britain has been represented in parliament.

For some in Rochdale, a former cotton mill town near Manchester, the by-election, triggered by the death of Labour lawmaker Tony Lloyd last month, had failed to offer them a clear choice of someone determined to help their town, ranked in the top 5 percent most deprived English local authorities in 2019.

Galloway also campaigned to reinstate maternity services in Rochdale but it was his message on Gaza that rang loudest.

He has promised to speak out on Gaza in Parliament, challenging Labour, which initially gave full backing to Israel following the October 7 attack led by the Palestinian group Hamas. The Labour party has since shifted its position to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Galloway will try to exploit Labour’s divisions.

“I want to tell Mr Starmer above all, that the plates have shifted tonight,” he said. “This is going to spark a movement, a landslide, a shifting of the tectonic plates.” – Al Jazeera

Original source — https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/1/uk-politician-galloway-who-campaigned-against-gaza-war-wins-by-election

— BebasNews

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