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Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Friday, 30 March 2012 08:44 UK

'People feel betrayed' by Labour in Bradford

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The deputy leader of the Labour party has said that Labour's performance in the Bradford West by-election is "very disappointing" but that the electorate jumped on the "bandwagon" in voting for the Respect Party's George Galloway.

Mr Galloway won the by-election with a 10,000 majority over the Labour Party.

Harriet Harman said that there was "a particular problem in Bradford" which they have to understand and discuss locally in order to rebuild links for Labour in the area.

She said she did not think there is a general more widespread problem but admitted that after active campaigning in Bradford, "it is worrying" that they did not engage with those people who are not pro-Tory.

"We have had a completely different argument from the Conservative party so it's not true to say people see all the parties as the same," she said.

She insisted that the party was changing and gaining momentum but maintained that "engagement and policy are not two separate things."

Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect Party, said that George Galloway won because "the three main parties are not connecting," and are all taking positions of austerity.

But she said that Respect's message is that "an alternative is possible and achievable."

"People feel betrayed" in Labour's heartland, she said, adding that their message to the Labour party is "come back to your people".


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