Galloway's 'personal' campaign for Bradford criticised by Labour

Labour has accused the Respect Party of resorting to "the desperate approach of making personal attacks" on its Muslim candidate in today's Bradford West by-election.

George Galloway, the former Respect MP and prominent anti-Israel activist, is hoping to seize the seat from Labour. It was vacated after Marsha Singh stepped down for health reasons and Labour is hoping Imran Hussein, a Labour councillor, can retain it.

A letter, posted in full by Politics Home and attributed to Mr Galloway, appears to show him attempting to appeal to the constituency's large Muslim community with the claim that "I, George Galloway have fought for Muslims at home and abroad, all of my life."

The letter also says: "I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have."

It refers to Mr Galloway's work in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the line: "I, George Galloway, came to the side of the people of Palestine in their agony".

The local Labour Party told Politics Home: "This bizarre and deeply insulting letter from Respect is what we've come to expect from George Galloway."

Mr Galloway has been backed in his campaign by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, who wrote on their website that they were "blown away by the level of commitment and passion being shown".

Describing Mr Hussain as "a pro war candidate who wishes to stamp out "extremism" in Afghanistan", MPACUK noted that "the people of Bradford have been stung into action before. At the last general election MPACUK kicked out the Zionist MP Terry Rooney from his Bradford East seat and the people of Bradford and Palestine are better off as a result."

Mr Galloway wrote on Twitter this week that he had been sent best wishes from a woman in Jenin. "All Palestinians she meets send support for Bradford campaign," he wrote. "Brilliant!"

Last updated: 12:20pm, March 29 2012