George Galloway — no return to Labour Party

Labour officials have insisted that there are no plans for George Galloway to rejoin the party after it was revealed that the Respect MP had held a secret meeting with Ed Miliband.

Reports of the meeting appeared at the weekend, angering Israel supporters. They believed it contrasted sharply with comments Mr Miliband made at a Board of Deputies event last month, when he criticised Mr Galloway's "shameful behaviour" in refusing to debate with an Israeli student at Oxford University.

But Labour officials this week rushed to make clear that the meeting had taken place a "significant amount of time" before Mr Miliband's comments to the Board. A Labour source said: "There is no attempt to bring George Galloway back into the Labour Party as many of his views are unacceptable. Ed met him purely as a courtesy to discuss the recent vote on changing parliamentary boundaries. No communication has taken place since."

The vote on boundary changes took place in January.

Mr Galloway was expelled by Labour in 2003 following disciplinary action over claims he made after the Iraq war.

Responding to reports of the meeting, Mr Galloway tweeted that the details had been leaked to the press "by Blairites seeking to weaken Ed Miliband".

Last updated: 3:45pm, April 25 2013