Galloway: I'm openly campaigning for Ken Livingstone

By Jennifer Lipman, April 20, 2012

An MP who was expelled from the Labour Party has offered his support to Ken Livingstone's mayoral campaign.

The pro-Palestinian activist George Galloway, who was elected last month as MP for Bradford West, told the House magazine that he supported the Labour candidate to run London.

The Respect Party politician said he was "openly campaigning" for Mr Livingstone, who polling suggests is in a close race for City Hall with incumbent Boris Johnson.

Mr Galloway said: "He's a friend of mine who I admire very much.

"I hope very much that he will win and insofar as I have influence in some communities in London I'm using it. I am already in East London."

It is not the first time Mr Livingstone and the Respect Party have been aligned. In October 2010 Mr Livingstone appeared to be campaigning for Respect's candidate for the position of mayor of Tower Hamlets. Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick called for an investigation following the allegations, but Mr Livingstone said he was only urging Labour voters to use their second preference to back Lutfur Rahman.

Mr Rahman later thanked Mr Livingstone for his support.

Mr Galloway's disclosure came after Lord Sugar, a Labour peer and former Labour government adviser, told voters not to back Mr Livingstone.

Mr Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 after his outspoken attacks on Tony Blair and the war in Iraq.

Last updated: 2:47pm, April 20 2012