George Galloway party launches Gaza-focused UK election campaign

Left-wing MP George Galloway launched his party’s general election campaign over the weekend, taking aim at the two dominant parties in the UK over their stance on Israel’s war on Gaza.

Galloway said Labour leader Keir Starmer had “blood on his hands” over his refusal to condemn Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which has killed around 26,500 Palestinians, and that his views on the war were “indistinguishable” from those of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who heads the centre-right Conservative Party.

Starmer has faced huge criticism from the left wing of the Labour Party for refusing to call for a ceasefire earlier in the war and appearing to back Israel’s complete blockade on Gaza.

Due to this, Galloway said the Labour Party would be as much in his Workers Party of Britain’s crosshairs as the Conservatives, particularly after the recent ‘purge’ of left-wing, pro-Palestine members.

“I could not tell you which is the lesser of the two evils – Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak,” he told supporters.

“I don’t know if asked to choose between this cheek or that cheek of an arse, that I have any preference. I want to boot that arse hard on 4 July in the general election.”

He also took aim at the rightward shift of Labour under Starmer since he took over the party from veteran left-wing MP Jeremy Corbyn in 2020.

“They are indistinguishable on everything that matters – whether it’s the economy, whether it’s society. This is Blair vs Blair in this election campaign.”

Starmer has faced recent criticism for the one-year suspension of Diane Abbott, the first Black woman to become a British MP, over comments about racism, and a ban on pro-Palestine MP Faiza Shaheen from representing Labour in the next election.

“If this is how they run their own party, how do you think they’d run the country?” Galloway added, claiming that the treatment of Abbott by the Labour Party was due to her support for Palestinians.

Galloway has been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause throughout his decades-long political career beginning with a visit to a refugee camp in Beirut in 1977. The Workers Party of Britain calls for “a single state in which all those born in Palestine-Israel can live in peace with equal rights”.

Galloway was expelled from the governing Labour Party in 2003 after his staunch and vocal criticism of the US-UK invasion of Iraq.

He later joined the left-wing Respect Party, winning their first parliamentary seat for Bethnal Green in 2005 and again for the party in Bradford West in 2012, with both campaigns focused on his anti-war stance.

In February 2024, he shocked the British political establishment by winning the Rochdale by-election, securing nearly 40 percent of the vote for his party.

Despite his firm opposition to Israeli aggression against Palestinians, he has been criticised for his lack of support for the Syrian uprising against Bashar Al-Assad’s rule and for being a presenter on Iranian state-owned Press TV.

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