Labour Party Expels Outspoken Opponent of War With Iraq

Various News Agencies

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair?s ruling Labour Party announced today that they had decided to expel prominent lawmaker George Galloway from the Party, for his staunch opposition to the Anglo-American war and then occupation of oil-rich Iraq.
At a time when most representatives of the people were either crowing for war, or dithering in silence, George Galloway stood firm with the millions of British people who opposed the war.

Galloway, 48, was suspended from the party in May following an interview with Abu Dhabi television on March 28 - eight days into the war - in which he accused Blair and his war duo USA President George Bush of invading Iraq “like wolves”. He consistently spoke out at anti-war rallies throughout the last year, and is still seen today as a leading British voice against the occupation of Iraq.

Speaking to reporters after his expulsion from the Party, Galloway stressed he had been subjected to a political show-trial. “This was a politically motivated kangaroo court whose verdict had been written in advance in the best tradition of political show trials.”

“Mr Blair’s response to the mistake of the war is to attack those who stood against the war and root them out of British politics,” he was quoted as charging. “Labour will rue the day that they took this decision,” confident Galloway said, stressing that the anti-war movement “is not going away”.

The Glasgow lawmaker, who had been a member of the Labour Party for 36 years, having joined when he was just 13, made plain his determination to run as an independent against the Party, hinting that he might quit his seat before the next general election, to run against Labour in a by-election.

“I was prominent in the Labour Party when Tony Blair was just an ugly rumour,” he said in a jibe about the name of the Prime Minister’s student days’ pop band. “I am still under 50-years-old, I have a strong heart,” Galloway wryly noted, vowing to “fight with every bone in my body to bring a lying, deceiving prime minister to account.” said the prominent legislator.

Galloway was charged of inciting Arabs to fight British troops, inciting British forces to defy orders, inciting Plymouth voters to reject Labour MPs, threatening to stand against Labour and backing an anti-war candidate in Preston. In a Party meeting not open to the public, he was found guilty of all but the third charge.  The decision cannot be appealed, but only challenged in courts.

Interviewed after the decision, verteran Labour ex-cabinet minister, and one-time Member of Parliament for fifty years, Tony Benn, said, “The message that is sent out is: if you are in favour of the UN charter and peace, then don’t be a member of the Labour Party because if you do, you might be expelled.”

Published Thursday, October 23rd, 2003 - 04:16pm GMT
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Various News Agencies

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