George Galloway may run in Tower Hamlets

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010
George Galloway

George Galloway

George Galloway is planning to run in an east London mayoral election following the deselection of a Labour candidate with alleged extremist connections.

The pro-Palestinian activist and former Respect MP is considering standing for the party in the vote for Tower Hamlets first directly-elected mayor next month.

Respect had said they would not field a candidate in the contest.

However they are now reviewing this in light of the decision by the Labour National Executive Committee to oust Lutfur Rahman.

Mr Rahman, a councillor with alleged links with the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) was replaced by fellow councillor Helal Abbas. Mr Rahman’s lawyer is appealing against the decision.

In a statement, Tower Hamlets Respect said they were considering Mr Galloway and another candidate for the election.

The statement said: “There is a consensus that Respect will stand a candidate if Lutfur Rahman is unsuccessful in his legal action to overturn the decision to deselect him and if he does not then stand as an independent candidate.

Mr Galloway, a presenter for Iran’s state-backed news channel Press TV, failed in a re-election bid in Poplar and Limehouse in May.

Last updated: 2:42pm, September 27 2010