UK media is reporting that George Galloway lost his seat in the House of Commons, the only seat held by the Respect Party which he formed at the time of the 2003 Iraq War. According to a report in the Guardian newspaper:
The political ambitions of George Galloway and his anti-war Respect party were thwarted by a UK slump in their vote. Galloway, the party’s only MP in the last parliament, failed to hang on to a seat in east London. He came third in Poplar and Limehouse, behind Labour’s Jim Fitzpatrick and the Conservative candidate. The Scottish firebrand, a Glasgow Labour MP for 18 years until being expelled from the party, did not turn up for the count in Poplar. As the results were read out, there were cries of “where is he?” Galloway had won 8,160 votes, a 17.5% share of the vote, a slight fall compared to 2005. In a jibe at the defeated MP, Fitzpatrick sneered: “The disrespect party has clearly suffered a huge defeat and that’s another major positive from yesterday.” Respect fared better in Birmingham Hall Green where another of its leaders, Salma Yaqoob, a psychotherapist and Birmingham city councillor, polled 12,240 votes, a 13.9% rise. She came second, nonetheless, to Labour’s MP Roger Godsiff. The party’s overall decline may, partially, be due to the slackening of animosities stirred up by the Iraq war. Respect’s national share of the vote halved compared with 2005, accounting for around 0.1% of all votes cast. A total of 33,251 people supported the party’s candidates. In Bethnal Green and Bow, the seat captured by Galloway in 2005, Abjol Miah also came third, this time behind Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Miah won 8,532 votes (16.8%), a sharp drop on 2005. The party had suffered several setbacks since 2005. Three years ago Galloway was briefly suspended as an MP after “clear evidence” that his Mariam Appeal “did benefit” from money from Iraq. There was no evidence he personally and directly received money from the regime.
George Galloway, a far-left British M.P. who was expelled from the Labor Party over incendiary comments made at time of the 2003 Iraq War. He subsequently formed the Respect Coalition which prior to a 2007 split included the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The Respect coalition was the sponsor of the February 2003 anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. A previous post discussed the 2007 falling out between Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party and the speculation that the difficulties stemmed from Galloway’s desire to focus more on developing a Muslim constituency. At that time, Galloway launched a new movement called Respect Renewal which helped to elect Mr Galloway as a Respect MP. Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and a recent post discussed his role in Viva Palestina, a UK registered charity associated which is currently under investigation by U.K. authorities. The organization has organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza including the first convoy where Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Previous posts have discussed Galloway’s trips to the U.S. in conjunction with the convoys including a trip in March 2009 where he participated in a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Muslim American Society leader Mahdi Bray was also scheduled to appear.