George Galloway reveals plans to unseat Tom Watson at next election and raises over £5,000 in 24 hours

Veteran left-wing politician George Galloway has announced he will bid to unseat Labour deputy leader Tom Watson at the next general election.

A crowd-funding website to raise £25,000 towards Mr Galloway’s campaign has raised more than £5,000 in 24 hours.

Galloway is planning to stand as a pro-Jeremy Corbyn independent candidate against Watson in his West Bromwich East constituency.

The 64-year-old former Labour member said he is planning to hold a campaign launch event in the Black Country “within 10 days”.

Watson has held the seat since 2001, and had a majority at the 2017 election of 7,713.

Watson and BBC Panorama

Galloway linked his prospective candidacy announcement to a critical letter written by Watson to Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) general secretary Jennie Formby, over the bitter row surrounding Labour’s handling of antisemitism allegations.

Formby has denied Watson’s accusations, which came in the wake of a controversial BBC Panorama documentary which the Labour Party has criticised for numerous reasons.

Read on...

Labour has denied the allegations and written a complaint to the BBC.

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) has since responded to the programme with a statement calling the episode a “farrago of half-truths, distortions and outright invention”.

For Galloway, it was Watson’s “criticism of Jennie Formby” that was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

He added: “Attacking a woman with breast cancer in the middle of chemotherapy in completely misleading terms, went well beyond the pale.”

Dundee-born Galloway said he would not be moving to the Black Country constituency “unless and until” he was elected, to avoid disrupting his children’s schooling.

“I have decades of involvement with the politics, society and culture in the Black Country and Birmingham area,” he added.

Galloway was a Labour MP from 1987 until 2003, when he was expelled for his outspoken opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

At the time, he claimed to have been the victim of “a politically-motivated kangaroo court”.

He was last an MP with political party Respect, becoming MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in 2005 and later representing the Bradford West constituency following a 2012 by-election before losing the seat three years later.

‘68% of Watson’s constituents voted in favour of leaving the EU’

Galloway also criticised Watson as the “driving force” behind Labour’s break with a 2017 party manifesto pledge to honour the referendum result to leave the EU.

Speaking to PA Media, Galloway said: “The whole thing has really taken off.

“This is the most popular thing I have ever done and I have been in politics 50 years – it has gone like wildfire.”

He said: “Tom Watson has spent the last years trying to wreck any possibility of a pro-Brexit Labour government.

“More importantly, he’s spent the last three years trying to wreck Brexit, even though 68% of his own constituents voted in favour of leaving.”

He added: “I believe he has betrayed Brexit and betrayed the people who need a Labour government.

“He has been the driving force fighting the British electorate’s decision in 2016 (to leave the EU) and in breaking the Labour manifesto pledge in 2017 to respect the referendum result.”

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us