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Monday, 11 July, 2005, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK

Ungallant to Galloway?

George Galloway The BBC received hundreds of complaints about Gavin Esler's interview with George Galloway on Friday's Newsnight.

The Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow was quizzed on his view that "Londoners have now paid the price" of the government ignoring warnings that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq "would increase the threat of a terrorist attack in Britain".

Newsnight editor Peter Barron responds to criticisms that Gavin Esler's questioning was "rude and aggressive".

" Having reviewed the interview, I agree it was unfortunate that it became ill-tempered. But I can see nothing in Gavin's questions which was unfair or ill-mannered.

Mr Galloway's comments in the immediate aftermath of the London attacks were controversial and it was right that they were questioned pointedly.

But I accept entirely that while Mr Galloway's views run counter to those expressed by mainstream politicians they are views that may be held quite widely across the country and perhaps particularly in parts of London such as Mr Galloway's constituency.

The thrust of Gavin's questioning was to ask if it was wise to express these provocative views - effectively "I told you so" - at a time when many politicians and Muslim leaders had been appealing for calm.

I believe that was a fair and appropriate line of questioning. "

Related to this story:
Howard special 'not staged' (24 Nov 04 |  Notes )
I'm only human, says Paxman (29 Apr 05 |  Notes )
Newsnight viewers ditch weather (15 Apr 05 |  About BBC News )

Galloway grilling defended
I was right to blame Blair, says Galloway
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