EXCLUSIVE: Batley and Spen residents won’t vote Labour because of the ‘Zionist lobby’ and ‘lesbianism’

Voters praise controversial George Galloway for ‘raising his voice for Palestine’


BATLEY, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: A campaign poster for Workers Party of Britain candidate George Galloway adorns a house in the Batley and Spen constituency on June 14, 2021 in Batley, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Residents in Batley and Spen have told the JC “lesbianism” and the “Zionist lobby” are reasons why they will abandon Labour at the constituency’s upcoming by-election. 

One voter also criticised the Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater because she “spoke against Palestine”, adding that her sister, the murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox, had spoken “favourably of Muslims and Palestine” but “they gave an English a pistol to kill her”.

Over two days the JC spoke to residents across the West Yorkshire constituency, covering areas including Hyrstand Road, Albion Street, Market Place and Oak View.

One voter said that Labour leader Keir Starmer “follows the Zionist lobby” and that the party’s candidate Ms Leadbeater was promoting “male to male relations” within schools.

Residents – several of whom were speaking in Urdu -  also voiced strong support for the independent candidate George Galloway.

Mr Galloway, who has previously heaped praise on the Assad regime in Syria, was sacked by talkRADIO over an alleged antisemitic tweet last year.

The former MP for Bradford West also declared the city an “Israel-free zone” in 2014, prompting West Yorkshire Police to interview him under caution. 

In Batley and Spen, one voter told the JC: “The local community feels that Labour leader Keir Starmer is a wrong man from the Muslim point of view.

“He’s from the Zionist lobby and follows the Zionist lobby. He’s not the voice for Muslims. His opponent George Galloway has always raised his voice for Palestine and… that’s the reason why the community is supporting Galloway and there is a movement for him. Locally also people feel that the councillors didn’t deliver and as with all elections, such issues surface when elections come.”

Another voter said: “George Galloway speaks openly for Palestine, and he will raise the issue of Palestine in Parliament. He speaks like Muslims and says salaam like Muslims, like the Canadian person. 

“This is even big that he talks like this, in Muslim way. They got the sister of this woman killed. She’s lesbian and openly (sic). She has kept a woman with her and lives with this woman. She supports male to male relations in schools. The main thing is she spoke against Palestine, but her sister spoke for Palestine, and they got her assassinated straight away.” 

As things stand, the Conservatives look set to take the Batley and Spen by-election, which is due to take place on Thursday next week. 

The seat has swung red at every election since 1997. However, polling released by Survation on Sunday placed Tory candidate Ryan Stephenson in the lead on 47 per cent. 

Ms Leadbeater polled in second place with 41 per cent of the vote, meanwhile Mr Galloway is predicted to take six per cent, splitting the Labour vote. 

Speaking to the JC, another voter said: “Labour policies here are not right, especially this Labour lady (the candidate) has spoken against Palestine and she wants to promote Lesbianism. She wants the schools to adopt gay system (sic). 

“It’s due to her policies now that George is standing in elections. His own policies are good, and he spoke on the issue of hijab, in favour of Muslims and in favour of Palestine. This lady has not been around for long, but her policies are the reasons why we are supporting Galloway.”

Another resident said: “You know the woman standing for Labour, her sister used to live locally. She spoke favourably of Muslims and Palestine in the parliament. They (the British establishment) got her killed as per a plan. 

“They gave an English a pistol to kill her when she was sitting in a library. Now her sister has come but she is so bad that first she’s a lesbian and she supports the gay system (sic). And she also spoke against Palestine.”

Last Saturday, a senior Labour official told Mail on Sunday columnist Dan Hodges that the party was "haemorrhaging votes among Muslim voters".

According to the official, Hodges reported, "the reason for that is what Keir has been doing on antisemitism".

"Nobody really wants to talk about it, but that's the main factor. He challenged Corbyn on it, and there's been a backlash among certain sections of the community."

The comments sparked widespread backlash from Muslim community leaders - who labelled them islamophobic - and Labour MPs, including Deputy Leader Angela Rayner.

On the ground in Batley and Spen, an individual in a local takeaway told the JC: "I and my all family will be voting for George Galloway because it's not just now that he's speaking up for Muslims or Palestine - he has spoken for Palestine, Iraq and Libya, and all of us should vote for him and make him successful.

"I have been a Labour support for a long time but I am leaving Labour because the new Labour leader’s policies are not right, his policies are against Muslims and that’s why I am leaving labour and voting for Galloway."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive