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George Galloway vows to ‘take chunks out of Labour’ as he’s sworn in as MP for Rochdale

4 March 2024, 17:32 | Updated: 4 March 2024, 22:49

George Galloway was sworn in as the MP for Rochdale on Monday.
George Galloway was sworn in as the MP for Rochdale on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

George Galloway has said it's his 'job to take chunks out of Labour' as he was sworn in as the new MP for Rochdale following last week's by-election.

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The Workers Party of Britain leader said it was "lovely to be back" as he arrived at Westminster on Monday morning.

“Always loved the building - the people in it not so much," he told broadcasters.

Mr Galloway, a former Labour MP, was sworn in by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle on Monday after storming to victory in the Rochdale by-election last Thursday.

After taking his seat in the Commons, Mr Galloway said: "It’s my job to try and make Rochdale great again".

The Workers Party MP took aim at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer following his win last week, as he said he would give Starmer a "piece of my mind" if he bumped into him in Parliament.

Speaking to LBC on Monday, Mr Galloway revealed his party could see as many as 100 candidates stand in an election.

He said: "We’re heading towards 90 and we might even reach 100. It’s our job to take chunks out of Labour."

After being sworn in, Mr Galloway said that he will attempt to speak at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, or failing that, in the budget debate afterward - although he claimed he is “unlikely to be chosen” for either.

Mr Galloway won the Rochdale seat last Thursday after a by-election was triggered by the death of Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd in January.

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Mr Galloway was sworn in on Monday.
Mr Galloway was sworn in on Monday. Picture: Alamy

Labour had initially expected a straightforward path to victory in the vote, but that changed when it emerged that its candidate, Azhar Ali, had pushed anti-Israel conspiracies.

The party then withdrew its support Mr Ali, who came in fourth behind David Tully, an independent, and Conservative Paul Ellison.

Sir Keir claimed George Galloway only won the Rochdale by-election because Labour didn't stand a candidate.

Speaking after Mr Galloway’s victory, Sir Keir said his party would field a "first-class candidate" in the general election, likely to be this autumn.

Immediately after winning the by-election last week, Mr Galloway said: "Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza."

"Your abandonment of traditional Labour values, your embrace of neoliberal economics and imperialist politics abroad is going to be the death of your party and it richly deserves it."

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