‘This is for Gaza’ – George Galloway wins in Rochdale by-election

George Galloway has won a decisive victory in the Rochdale by-election with a staggering 39.7% of the vote and with a 37.6% turnout, in the Greater Manchester town traditionally a Labour Party stronghold. This means that almost one in six of Rochdale’s 80,000 residents voted to send him to Westminster, with 12,335 votes and nearly a 6,000 majority over his nearest rival.

We are all Palestinians say the citizens of Rochdale

A lifetime champion of the Palestinian cause, Galloway unashamedly ran his campaign on a support Gaza mandate, in total defiance of the official political narrative of the two main national parties. Both the governing Conservative Party under Rishi Sunak, and the Labour Party under Keir Starmer, have steadfastly refused to meaningfully acknowledge the extent of the pain and suffering, and to call for an end to the death and destruction being perpetrated against the innocent inhabitants of Gaza. In defending Israel’s right to self defence, they have ignored the fate of 30,000 overwhelmingly women and children, who have been wantonly slaughtered in the Gaza strip at the hands of the Israeli military forces.  

Galloway’s election victory in Rochdale marks the end of a week marred by Islamophobic slurs from senior politicians

In a week marred by the cancer of Islamophobia amongst senior Conservative Party politicians and in our media, Friday morning’s victory for George Galloway in Rochdale, to many, represents the essence of the true values of the Muslim community and right minded progressive individuals in the UK, who have refused to be intimidated by the government’s unwavering support for a country, which the International Court of Justice on 26th January, deemed plausibly guilty of genocide in Gaza.  

Speaking as the election results were announced, George Galloway MP, uttered historic words which will come to define the challenge soon to be faced by the leaders of both the Labour and the Conservative party in the next General election due to be held later this year.   He said:

‘Keir Starmer, This is for Gaza. You have paid and you will pay a high price for the role that you have played in enabling, encouraging and covering up for the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine in the Gaza Strip’

‘Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are two cheeks of the same backside’

He added:

‘Yes its true, that every Muslim is bitterly angry at Keir Starmer and his misnamed Labour Party. But you would be very foolish if you did not realise that millions of other citizens of our country are too. Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are two cheeks of the same backside and they both got well and truly spanked tonight here in Rochdale’

The long-standing parliamentarian, whose parliamentary career spans over 30 years, will now begin his fourth stint in the halls of Westminster. Galloway went on to say that he expected his victory to ‘spark a movement’ which would leave ‘scores’ of other Labour seats at risk, as he promised to field at least 50 ‘Workers Party of Britain’ candidates, at constituencies across the country in the next election.

The former Labour Party candidate, Azhar Ali, who was removed from the Labour whip on 13th February – just two weeks before polling was due to take place, was forced to run as an independent, following revelations of a statement made by him in which he accused the Israeli government of knowing about the planned Hamas 7th October attack in advance. He managed only to secure 2042 votes, coming fourth behind the Conservative party candidate, Paul Ellison, who similarly achieved a poor showing with just 3,731 votes. A local non-affiliated businessman, David Tully surprisingly swept into second place with 6,638 votes.

A Labour Party spokesperson issued a statement which seemed to be in denial as to the extent of the victory of Galloway. It read:

‘We deeply regret that the Labour Party was unable to field a candidate in this by-election and apologise to the people of Rochdale. George Galloway only won because Labour did not stand’

Political commentators accuse Galloway of being divisive

Political commentators have made a lot of Galloway’s particular targeting of Muslim voters in the constituency, in particular a letter which was widely circulated in the run up to the election, which some have accused of being divisive in its call to topple the Labour leader. The letter read:

‘To the voters of the Muslim faith in Rochdale  A’Salaam a Aleukum,

The last 130 days have shocked the ummah to its core. The killing of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Gaza is a war crime, and Israel must be held to account.

The political class has failed Rochdale, failed Britain and failed Gaza. I expect as much from the Conservative Party, but the Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer have betrayed Muslims, choosing instead to support Israel’s genocide in Gaza….

Imagine – the people of Rochdale coming together to topple the hated Labour leader. We have the power to do that. It’s in your hands, brothers and sisters…

You have a unique opportunity to send Keir Starmer and the Labour Party a message – stop supporting Genocide, stop supporting Israeli aggression, and stand with Palestine…a message that will be heard in all four corners of the world – from the North West to Palestine’

The citizens of Rochdale will today have sense that their voice is being heard.


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