Keir Starmer: George Galloway fires warning ahead of by-election
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The populist is hoping to mop up votes from disaffected Muslim voters in the community who no longer feel a pull towards Labour. The Brexiteer this weekend announced he is standing in West Yorkshire constituency ballot “to represent the majority of people neglected by the Government and let down by Keir Starmer’s New Labour Party.”
Just hours after kicking off his campaign, Mr Galloway issued a threat to Sir Keir as pundits predict another loss for Labour is likely.
He tweeted: “Devastating leaked footage emerges from inside Labour re #BatleyAndSpenByelection Stand by…”
Earlier, he accused Labour supporters in Batley and Spen of “repeating dangerously extremist talking points against me” and warned the opposition party “they are being dragged into dangerous waters.”
Reports suggest many voters of Asian descent who live in the constituency are turning their backs on Labour.
The Sunday Times reported that WhatsApp groups made up of Muslim voters in the area are “alive with videos of Galloway”.
Some expressed their disappointment over Sir Keir’s tepid response to the recent war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Constituent Taf Hussain said locals feel “so hurt by Labour not speaking up for the Palestinian people and allowing injustice to happen”.
The businessman, one of many Galloway supporters in the constituency, told The Sunday Times that “Labour is not the voice of the people anymore.”
There is also unease in the community about how Labour’s selection process was handled in the by-election race.
Kim Leadbeater, the younger sister of the late Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox who was murdered in 2016, has been chosen to battle it out on behalf of the opposition party.
The party waived its membership rules to allow her to stand.
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Labour is desperate to retain the seat which it won on a wafer-thin majority of just 3,525 votes in 2019.
Following the party’s dismal outcome in the “Super Thursday” elections last month, Sir Keir is keen to bag a win to boost his leadership.
But with Mr Galloway already making waves in the area, a Labour loss looks ever more likely.
The Scottish-born firebrand said he is running for Workers Party of Britain in an attempt to remove Sir Keir as leader.
Mr Galloway was kicked out of the Labour party in 2003 for inciting British soldiers to defy orders to fight in the Iraq war.
In a video posted on Twitter, he said: “If Keir Starmer loses this by-election, it’s curtains for Keir Starmer.
“So, if for whatever reason you think that the current leader of the Labour Party needs to be replaced, I’m your man.”
The by-election will be held on July 1.
The vote was triggered when the incumbent MP was elected as West Yorkshire mayor.
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