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'This is for Iraq' — stunning victory for Respect as George Galloway takes Bethnal Green

Issue No. 1950

George Galloway

George Galloway

Respect's George Galloway has defeated pro-war Labour MP Oona King to win the east London seat of Bethnal Green & Bow in the British general election, in a stunning victory for the left and the anti-war movement.

George Galloway, who was kicked out of the Labour Party for his opposition to the Iraq war, will return to parliament as the first Respect MP after winning 36 percent of the vote to Labour's 34 percent.

Speaking immediately after he was declared to be the constituency's new MP, Galloway directed his fire at prime minister Tony Blair.

'Mr Blair, this is for Iraq. The defeat you've suffered and all the other defeats New Labour has suffered this evening is for Iraq.

'All the people you killed, all the lies you told have come back to haunt you.

'The best thing the Labour Party can do is sack you tomorrow morning'

'Oona King boasted that she was going to finish me off. The defeat was not her defeat this evening. It was a defeat for Tony Blair, New Labour and all their betrayals.'

Galloway pointed to the strong results for Respect across east London. The party came a strong second in both East Ham and West Ham, with 21 and 20 percent, and third in Poplar & Canning Town with 17 percent of the vote.

'In east London a new political power is born. There is a revolt spreading through east London against the betrayals of New Labour - and you ain't seen nothing yet!'

Elsewhere, Respect's Salma Yaqoob also came second with 27 percent of the vote in Birmingham's Sparkbrook & Small Heath constituency.

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Thu 5 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1950
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