Socialist Worker

George Galloway: Parliament throws out the possibility of defence

Issue No. 2061

George Galloway was barred from defending himself in parliament after questioning the motives of those conducting a witch-hunt against him.

The ban meant that the Respect MP could not question a report by the Parliamentary Standards and Privileges Committee that wants to suspend him from parliament for 18 days.

Galloway told Socialist Worker, 'It's come to something when an anti-war MP can get a fairer hearing from a Republican Senate than in the House of Commons.'

In 2005 Galloway appeared in front of the US Senate committee to demolish their case against him. He was prevented from doing the same in the British parliament.

'I was gagged just as I had made the point about the double standards at the heart of the matter. And thrown out of parliament for daring to say that if you put ten MPs in a committee room they are by definition a political tribunal.

'Some MPs may think that is an outrageous thing to say, but most people in the country think it a self-evident fact.'

Galloway was continually interrupted by the speaker for questioning the motives behind a four year enquiry into the Mariam Appeal campaign.

The committee found no evidence that he benefited from the Appeal.

So it recommended instead that Galloway be suspended for 18 days because he dared to defend himself.

When he questioned the motives of the Indict group – the group that had originally raised the complaint against Galloway – he was thrown out of the Commons by the speaker.

The Commons then backed Galloway's suspension without putting it to a vote.

'I was less that one third through what I planned to say,' he said. 'The pro-war parliament may close its ears. But I have every indication that the British public want to hear it and are outraged.'

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Tue 24 Jul 2007, 18:14 BST
Issue No. 2061
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