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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
George Galloway
George Galloway

Date of birth

16 August 1954

Political profile

George Galloway is one of the most visible backbenchers in the House of Commons, with a strong line in fiery oratory and a skill for enthusiastic denunciation.

However, the idiosyncratic uses to which he puts his skill had led to his being almost as detached from the Labour party as from the opposition parties.

He is a left wing opponent of privatisation and of nuclear weapons, and has previously been arrested while protesting outside naval bases.

However, his major political interests, and the ones which cause the most controversy, are international, where he is a self-styled friend of oppressed countries and opponent of Western imperialism.

He fought a long campaign against sanctions on Iraq, and was an adamant opponent of the Gulf War and the military action in Afghanistan.

In 2002, he caused the first ever suspension of Westminster Hall when he refused to withdraw his allegation that Ben Bradshaw was "a liar".

Mr Bradshaw had described him as "a mouthpiece to the Iraqi regime over many years".

He was expelled from the Labour Party in October 2003 in he wake of his outspoken comments on the Iraq war - comments which Labour chairman Ian McCartney said "incited foreign forces to rise up against British troops".

The charges brought by Labour against him related to a television interview in which he accused Tony Blair and George Bush of acting "like wolves" in invading Iraq.

Mr Galloway responded to his expulsion by saying: "This was a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict had been written in advance in the best tradition of political show trials."

In the wake of his expulsion he has been the figurehead for the anti-war party contesting the European Parliament elections: Respect - The Unity Coalition (George Galloway).

In June 2004, a year-long inquiry found that an appeal set up by Mr Galloway to help Iraqi children broke rules but that there had been no bad faith.

The Charity Commission started the inquiry into the Mariam Appeal after a complaint that some of the funds had been used to fund Mr Galloway's travel.

In December 2004, Mr Galloway was awarded 150,000 in libel damages from the Daily Telegraph over articles published in April 2003 claiming he received money from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

He denied seeking or receiving money from Saddam Hussein's government saying he had long opposed it.

Contact

gallowayg@parliament.uk

Constituency office: 0141 342 4537


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