George Galloway may run in Tower Hamlets

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: 1:42pm, September 27 2010