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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 October, 2003, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Should Labour have expelled George Galloway?
George Galloway
George Galloway has been expelled from the Labour Party following his criticism of the Iraq war.

The MP for Glasgow Kelvin faced charges relating to a television interview during the war in which he accused Tony Blair and George Bush of acting "like wolves" in invading Iraq.

Mr Galloway denounced the decision as "politically motivated" and said that it was "certain" that he would run as an independent at the next election.

There is no right of appeal against the ruling, although it is possible that it could be challenged in the courts.

Should George Galloway have been expelled from the Labour Party? Tell us what you think.


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Your reaction:

The comments below reflect a balance of views received:

If Britain is truly a democracy then Mr Galloway should be able to express his opinions without fear of retribution.
James Kilmartin, Scotland

I praise Mr Galloway for his courage to speak the truth. Blair and Bush did act like wolves. I hope that Galloway will make good on his promise to make Blair regret the day he attacked Galloway.
Rima Taliaferro, USA

I am not saying I agree with all he said but are we no longer allowed to express a view or belief... Too far Blair Too far... you are finished the electors have no real confidence in an IDS cabinet but it is looking like Labour have blown it.
Peter McOmish, UK

This decision clearly revealed that the Labour Party is not representing the Labour forces
Giselle, Canada
Today this decision clearly revealed that the Labour Party is not representing the Labour forces. Especially when Mr Tony Blair is the leader of the party, whose full support of the corporations' interests is so obvious (proven by his decisions). George Galloway you are the voice of millions of anti-war demonstrators who paraded in various cities of your country. You will never be silenced.
Giselle, Canada

Galloway's right to free speech is not in question. Within the laws of slander and libel he can carry on saying whatever he likes...but not within the Labour Party. He knew the rules of the party when he joined, so he knew what would happen when he broke them. This is just another cynical piece of self promotion by a man famous for it.
John R Smith, UK

George Galloway should consider himself lucky at having got away so lightly as simply being expelled by the Labour party. He is a traitor to both the UK and the USA and should be expelled from the UK, maybe his friend Saddam could find refuge for him wherever he may be hiding!
Graham Wright, UK

A few days ago when George Bush attempted to speak before the Australian parliament he was heckled by some of the MP's. As those MP's were ordered from the chamber President Bush said "I love free speech".
I do too, and I'm disturbed by the way so many opponents of Bush outside the US are being silenced by their own governments and political parties.
Peter Nelson, USA

Whether he should have or not is not for us to decide. The fact is, if you do not abide by the rules of any organisation, you risk being expelled from it, whether those rules are written or unwritten. Galloway violated the rule of supporting his party and he knew the potential consequences.
Gordon, UK

As a former resident of the West End of Glasgow, I'm glad to see him go
Stuart, Scotland
As a former resident of the West End of Glasgow, I'm glad to see him go. He's spent his 16 years as an MP as a self-serving dogmatist. He has done practically nothing for the community and always placed our interests a poor second to the extremist causes which he is obsessed with. Despite the messages of support on this page, I'm sure most ordinary people were disgusted by his behaviour when he met Saddam Hussein.
Stuart, Scotland

He spoke his mind , e should not be expelled
Zak, United Kingdom

If Mr Galloway is so appalled by the policies of the Labour party then how with any self respect can he seek to remain a member of it? It would surely be an act of total hypocrisy for him and his supporters to remain members of or indeed campaign for a party with which they are obviously in such fundamental disagreement.
Kenny, Scotland

In a dictatorship they should have expelled him but in a democracy they should not. This is a government that seems to me to be moving nearer and nearer to becoming a tyranny. The principle of free speech is being eroded and I wonder if the day is coming when it will be illegal to express your views.
Keith, England

Mr Galloway knew the rules of the organisation. If he wished not to obey those rules, then he had the right to resign. Within the Labour Party, there are proper avenues for members to make their protest and be heard. His behaviour disgraced himself, his Party and his country. Expulsion was the only course left for the Labour Party to disassociate itself from Mr Galloway's outspoken views and behaviour.
Jack Sparrow, England

Some of the comments on this page make me really angry. George Galloway has not been expelled from the Labour Party because of his anti-war views - there are many other MP's with equally strong convictions who remain in place. He has been expelled for stating that British troops should Mutiny, urging foreign nationals to attack those same troops, and publicly praising Saddam Hussein and his dictatorship. He's lucky not to be in court facing charges of treason!
John, England

I will always think my Grandad said it best "Galloway is a traitor", and he's right he's not only a traitor to our country; he's a traitor to human rights activists around the world!
I'm a member of Amnesty and I agreed with the war, simply because it would save millions of peoples basic human rights
Mark, UK

Slowly but surely, the power of free thought and speech is being banished from the Labour party. Once a party that harboured so many different views and opinions is being dwindled away into Blair cronyism. Galloway was a refreshing voice in the Labour party. He was a man with conscience and conviction who has been persecuted for not bowing to the blind patriotism. As the death count rises in Iraq and those Weapons of mass destruction are seeming all the more mythical, it is time for Blair to go, not Galloway!
Gavin Duggan, England

Expulsion and obscurity are long overdue
C Pirie, Scotland
Good riddance! Expulsion and obscurity are long overdue - he will not be missed! Anything he did in past years was for his own self-importance and publicity not for the good of his constituents, Britain or anyone else.
C Pirie, Scotland

The Labour Party, and politics in general, disgust me to the core. All those that are running this country are interested in is in saving their own skins and diverting attention from a senseless act of aggression in Iraq, which we have been and will continue to pay for not only in money but in innocent lives. If George Galloway were to start his own party, I would be one of the first to join up. It's about time more politicians both at home and abroad had the courage and conviction to speak up for what they truly believe in.
John, England

If an MP is not permitted by their party to express their personal opinions, nor the opinion of at least a large proportion of their constituents, then what is the purpose of our current system? Doubtless Blair would prefer an Orwellian approach to party politics, yet British democracy depends on people like Galloway who are prepared to exercise their freedom of speech in the face of big brother!
Charlie Mason, UK

George Galloway should resign his seat and contest a by-election if he believes that he is speaking for his constituents
Nick, Scotland
Let the people decide! George Galloway should resign his seat and contest a by-election if he believes that he is speaking for his constituents. They will then have the opportunity to decide whether Labour was right to expel him by endorsing him as their local MP or by choosing someone else.
Nick, Scotland

George should start a new party, when he does I will join it. I among many who voted Labour have had enough of New Labour. Blair should stand in the Tory leadership squabble. When that happens, I think he might do rather well!
Rob, Scotland

Political parties can expel anybody they like, but sooner or later, they will have to listen to common sense. I just wish there were more brave people like George Galloway around.
Marilyn, Australia

As a constituent of Mr Galloway I am glad that the Labour party took the only course of action open to it. Mr Galloway has over the years campaigned on many fronts but not ones that would benefit his constituents who pay his wages. I hope the next MP for Kelvin will represent the people they are supposed to speak for, their constituents.
Mary Robb, Glasgow

I heard Harriet Harman (another bland Blairite) on Question Time last night, explaining how the committee that expelled Galloway consisted of 3 rank and file members of the Labour Party. If this committee had no instruction on what the result should be, then the Labour Party can be said to have spoken. I'm no Labour supporter, and even as an ex-member of HM forces I still don't believe the war was justified, but Galloway blatantly overstepped the mark with his interview with Al-Jazeera.
Si W, County Durham, UK

He stepped over a line that most anti-war protestors did not cross
Ingmar Collinson, UK
My brother served four months in Iraq earlier this year with the Royal Air Force and is due to spend several months again there over Christmas. Disagreeing with the war in Iraq and the policy-makers is one thing, but encouraging attacks upon our brave service men and women is another. In this instance he stepped over a line that most anti-war protestors did not cross and he has been rightly punished for it. I would relish the opportunity to see him try and justify some of his outrageous statements to any forces family.
Ingmar Collinson, UK

George Galloway - a man of great conscience and principle, is thrown out of the Labour Party despite his obvious history of pro-human rights activism. On top of this, he is smeared as if he is a supporter of the Iraqi regime. As a Labour Party member, I am very uncomfortable with this situation. His views coincide perfectly with almost everyone within the Labour Party, yet he is the one expelled, while Tony and his cronies attempt to smear him.
Simon Watkins, Wales, UK

I saw a speech that he gave at the School of Oriental and African Studies common room. He fights like a lion against racism that is entrenched so deeply that it is not even conceived. He speaks like a lion against the internationally recognised crimes that the so few have commited to the so many.
Ramsey Pietro Nasser, UK

He has obviously been made a scapegoat by the party leadership
Adrian Holme, UK
No, Galloway should not have been expelled. Though I have some differences with his opinions, he articulated the views of millions of British people opposed to the war on Iraq. He has obviously been made a scapegoat by the party leadership, and as a party member I am outraged. The real damage to the Labour Party has been done by the people who took Britain to war in defiance of the UN, who misled parliament and the British people. But now is certainly no time for ordinary party members to resign. Now is the time to stand firm, stay in the party and fight for alternative policies, and for Galloway's reinstatement.
Adrian Holme, UK

George eloquently represents the views of the majority of his constituents who are both well-educated and informed about world events. New Labour have now made George into Glasgow's own Ken Livingstone. As a Kelvin constituent, I can see George beating any Labour stooge come the next election.
Stewart, Glasgow, UK

I think Mr Benn stated the position with great clarity: speaking out in favour of upholding international law is no longer possible within the Labour party. With all due respect to the authors of other comments here, I prefer politicians to put moral considerations above duty to constituents or party. I cannot now imagine voting for Labour until the leadership changes - which is a shame since my MP is Glenda Jackson.
K Anderson, England

I believe his expulsion from the Labour Party was long overdue
Dave, Scotland
Yes, I believe his expulsion from the Labour Party was long overdue. His rabid political conduct over the last few years has been an embarrassment to this country and his public comments of support for the old Iraqi regime were a slap in the face to decent-minded individuals everywhere. I do not see how people can applaud him for this under the guise of airing his views as it is clear to me that he is more concerned about securing his own personal interests than he is in being a responsible representative of the people.
Dave, Scotland

There was nothing wrong with him holding and announcing opinions against the war with Iraq. In fact a lot of the British public would have supported that view. I would defend his democratic right to have his opinion. However, it is unforgivable that an elected MP, who swore loyalty to the Crown (in effect the country) incites attacks against British troops, and incites our armed forces to mutiny.
Robbie, UK

George Galloway's "crime" was to represent the views of his constituents, rather than kow-towing to Tony.
BrianW, UK

I'm delighted by this expulsion; I've been saddled with him as my local MP and he is nothing but an embarrassment to the people he represents and to the Labour Party. I've often thought of not voting in the General Election because he is the local candidate. Goodbye George and good riddance.
Susan, Scotland

If anyone should be expelled from what was the Labour party, it should be Blair who helped to destroy it
Brian Mason, France
Absolutely NOT. Blair and his boss Bush have shown their clear disregard for the UN and International Law in orchestrating the Invasion and subjugation of a sovereign state and Mr Galloway is one hundred present correct in adopting the stance he has to condemn this action. If anyone should be expelled from what was the Labour party, it should be Blair who helped to destroy it.
Brian Mason, France

Like the child who pointed out that the Emperor was naked, George Galloway is one of only a very small number willing to point out President Blair's blatant disregard for the wishes of a majority of the British public. He should run as an independent and shame our so-called public servants further.
Thomas Moran, UK

I was born and raised in Townhead, so I suppose Mr. Galloway would be my MP is I was still living in Glasgow. If I were still a constituent of Mr. Galloway, I would have attempted to have him recalled. The comments that led to his dismissal were petty, disloyal and inappropriate and appeared to be simply grandstanding. Mr. Galloway's comments and actions did little to further the position of those who opposed the war in Iraq.
Albert Coia, United States

I am a Labour party member. I don't agree with George Galloway's views, but am deeply concerned at his expulsion. It seems if you are left wing or someone with a conscience, you no longer have a place in the Labour Party. Maybe Blair should remember what real Labour members stand for. They don't like him or the direction he has taken the party. He seems to be unable to accept people who don't agree with him. Lets hope he goes before the Tories regroup and he loses us the next election
Chris Rainbow, UK

You would be kicked out of a football team if you kept scoring goals for the opposition
Ed Rowley, Brazil
The party are right to expel him. It is, after all, no longer the Labour party he joined many years ago. You would be kicked out of a football team if you kept scoring goals for the opposition. It is a shame that more MPs don't voice their own opinions instead of towing the line of apathy for improved career prospects. If they did, more people might take the time to vote.
Ed Rowley, Brazil

It is a matter for the Labour Party to decide on their own membership criteria - nothing to do with free speech, which Mr Galloway can exercise as an independent. It says more about the Labour party that they tolerated such an unsavoury character for so long than that they expelled him today. And I write as someone who was never a supporter of the war.
Alastair, UK

This is not a free speech issue. He has the right to say what he likes but if he wants to remain in the "club" he has to abide by it's rules. I doubt if he represents the mainstream Labour voter - he should resign his seat and stand in an election to test that fact.
Tim, USA

I resigned from Labour when the disgraceful rubbish about Iraq got too much for me. You're better off without them George - but they are the poorer for your loss.
Jim, London, UK

It was Tony Blair who brought the Labour Party into disrepute by participating in an illegal war in defiance of the United Nations charter. It is therefore Tony Blair, whose attack in Iraq has led to the deaths of many innocent people, who should be expelled from the Labour Party.
Michael McCarthy, UK

He's the only anti-war MP to have been sanctioned, because he's the only one who campaigned against the party
Steve B, UK
I fail to see why it is the end of free speech. No one has tried to shut George Galloway up. They have just said that he has shown no loyalty or respect for his political party - including campaigning against it. He is the only anti-war MP to have been sanctioned, because he is the only one to have actually campaigned against the party. The Labour Party is a broad church but to quote Claire Short - "even broad churches have doors".
Steve B, UK

Galloway is nothing but a trouble monger. He should have left the Labour Party long ago if he disagreed. He stayed to stir up dissention and gain a bigger name for himself.
John, Leicester, UK

George Galloway holds idiotic views of the world that are clearly incompatible to those of his party. One can hardly blame the Labour party for expelling him after he has referred to his own party leader as a 'wolf' and apparently encouraged attacks on British servicemen. He should be grateful that Britain is liberal enough to have abolished the death penalty for traitors, as not so long ago he would likely have faced a far more serious punishment than being expelled from a party he didn't even agree with.
James, UK

George should be proud. He has been such a thorn in the flesh of our neo-conservative quisling government that they have moved heaven and earth to get rid of him. As he has said, he will still be an important part of the labour movement long after Blair has scuttled ignominiously into history's dustbin.
Charles Moore, Scotland

Dissention makes for healthy politics
Hugh, UK
Galloway has always been a maverick - but someone who has always seemed to have the courage of his convictions. Something I'd have thought Blair might empathise with. Expel Galloway? No - dissention makes for healthy politics. And the Kelvin seat is prime territory for another Lib/Dem gain if he should chose to force a by-election.
Hugh, UK

Most of the comments are supporting Galloway. Yet no one is commenting on where to draw a line on what he said. Regardless of free speech do we support someone saying to Iraqis 'kill British soldiers' or who says 'British soldiers should mutiny'? Hatred and bigotry are a part of free speech yet we condemn that too.
Michael J Sullivan, Canada

As a socialist and a Labour Party member, I feel that the debate about George Galloway has missed the point. It is quite possible to simultaneously support his right to due process and oppose his expulsion for taking an anti-war stand AND denounce him politically for his links with the former Iraqi regime. Why the bulk of the left feels that it has to idolise him in order to oppose the Blairites I'm not clear.
Sacha Ismail, UK

He will probably do much better as an independent in the next election
Glenn Barker, Canada
It seems to me that in this affair Mr Galloway represented his constituents (and the rest of the UK) much better than the Labour Party did as a whole. He will probably do much better as an independent in the next election because of it. I sincerely hope he stands. The world sorely needs such honest men.
Glenn Barker, Canada

I resigned from the Labour Party over the invasion of Iraq without a UN mandate. If Iraq means so much to Mr Galloway why did he wait to be pushed?
Jamie, England

What a fantastic chance for the voters of Glasgow to show New Labour what they think of them, without having to abstain or vote Tory (or Lib Dem)!!
Andrew, UK

Foolish - Tony Blair will find George Galloway is more dangerous outside the party than in it.
David, UK

If there is truly no room for disagreement to be expressed and debated within the party and the government, what hope is there ever for your own MP to express the concerns you ask them to?
Caz, England

Isn't it ironic that a man is dismissed from the Labour Party for speaking his mind; the same party that took us to war to bring 'liberty, freedom and democracy' to Iraq, the values which should enshrine freedom of speech.
James Phillips, UK

It's clearly better for both parties that they part company
Ian, UK
George Galloway and the Labour Party have different views. No matter which one you agree with more, it's clearly better for both parties that they part company.
Ian, UK

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen - the death of free speech!
Dunc, England

As one of his constituents, I think Galloway is contemptible, but I also think the Labour Party are stupid to expel him. Now we're all going to hear about the martyrdom of "Gorgeous" George! How long will it be before we hear him grumble about Tony and his "neo-conservatives" effecting regime change in Glasgow Kelvin?!
Paul, UK

If Mr Galloway loves Iraq so much I suggest he go live there. He won't be missed.
Rob, UK

It was inevitable that his position would not be sustainable
Tim, England
I happen to agree with most of George's views. However the Labour Party has moved so far right that it was inevitable that his position would not be sustainable. I would vote for him as an independent.
Tim, England

No he should not have been expelled. I personally have no time for Mr Galloway but he is entitled to express his opinions. It is just more evidence of the control freakery of the modern Labour Party. It is sad that there is no place for people who will not do what they are told and toe the party line. How many famous ex-Labour people would never have lasted in the party under the current regime?
Nigel Meyer, UK

If Galloway has opinions contrary to that of the Labour Party, then they should listen to his comments. However as Galloway seems to be strongly and, politically opposed to the Labour Party's actions, then he should find another party which does agree with his sentiments.
Rachel, Wales

Yes George Galloway should have been expelled. He is a disgrace to the Labour Party, he is a disgrace to the Scottish people and he is a disgrace to his constituents. MPs need to remember that they are not in Parliament to stand up for their principles, they are there to represent their constituents and the sooner they remember this the better.
Andrew Kelly, Scotland

This says a lot more about New Labour than it does about George Galloway.
Barry, UK

Although I don't agree with all of the things he has said I believe he should have the right to state them. It's only because he doesn't fit in with the "spin" politics of Blair and co that they have sought to get rid of them. The only thing they have achieved is to make him look like a martyr to the cause and give him support for him to run as an independent.
Stephen Thompson, England

George was simply reinforcing the view of the British public on the Iraq war. To expel him from the Labour party is a clear indication that Mr Blair was going to have this war, no matter what was thought of him. It would be the ultimate insult now to see George Galloway take seats from Labour, just because of the government not doing its job, and listening to the voice of the public that elected it!
Andy, Leeds, UK




SEE ALSO:
Galloway expelled by Labour
23 Oct 03  |  Politics


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