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    5. George Galloway promises to 'punish' Labor in Rochdale by-election and ..


    George Galloway promises to 'punish' Labor in Rochdale by-election and banish liberalism

    George Galloway tells The Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast that, at 69, Rochdale will be the last seat he's in contention for. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty

    George Galloway has vowed to “punish” Labor in the Rochdale by-election because he says the party has “brought misery and shame” to the town.

    Workers' Party candidate , who is standing for a pro-Palestinian party in the greater Manchester constituency, said he wants to see an “overwhelming rejection of liberalism” among voters.

    Talking to The Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast, Mr Galloway said: “We We want the vast majority of the population to reject the liberalism in Rochdale that has brought so much misery and shame to the town. And the size of most will reflect this.

    “I think Labor have brought shame on Rochdale again and we are prepared to punish them.”

    Mr Galloway, a former Labor MP, said the Rochdale by-election would be the last seat to which he will run for.

    Explaining why he intended to leave politics, he said: “I am 69 years old. – old, and my youngest child is three years old. Well, I do have obligations to others. That being said, since it's half term where they live, all my kids are here with me on the campaign. But no, another five years is enough for me.”

    Last week the Labor Party withdrew its support for its Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali and suspended him from the party after he was embroiled in an anti-Semitism scandal.

    Sir Keir Starmer initially backed Mr Ali despite growing protests from the Jewish community and within his party after Mr Ali said Israel had deliberately allowed Hamas to kill its citizens on October 7 to pave the way for an attack on the sector Gaza.

    The Labor Party leader was forced to U-turn after “further comments” emerged and Mr Ali was suspended from the party pending an investigation.

    He will not be replaced as the Labor Party candidate for the February 29 Rochdale election because there was no opportunity to amend the ballot after nominations closed.

    Although technically he will still remain the Labor Party candidate , if he wins, he will most likely immediately have the whip removed, which will make him an independent MP.

    This means Labor is effectively losing ground in Greater Manchester, where it has a majority of around 9,000.

    Mr Galloway said it was “likely” to be the case when Sir Keir Starmer wins the next general election, calling Rishi Sunak “a miserable, hopeless Mr Bean”.

    He said the Conservative Party “should have stuck with [Boris] Johnson”, adding that it ” at least put them in a fighting position.”

    Listen to Planet Normal, the Telegraph's weekly podcast bringing news and views from outside the bubble, using the audio player above, or subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app

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