Controversial Rochdale MP George Galloway loses seat following ‘anti-LGBTQ+’ comments

Workers Party leader George Galloway has lost his seat to Labour in the 2024 general election: he was beaten by 1400 votes.

Galloway won the seat in February following a byelection triggered by the death of late Labour MP Tony Lloyd. 

On 4 July, Labour’s Paul Waugh won 13,000 votes, with Galloway coming second. A Reform UK candidate beat the Conservatives into fourth place on a night that saw the anti-multiculturalism party exceed expectations.

George Galloway losing his seat to Labour follows intense controversy sparked by apparently anti-LGBTQ+ comments made by the former MP two months ago.

On 2 May, Galloway told Novara Media founder Aaron Bastani that he wouldn’t want children to be taught about LGBTQ+ people; he subsequently refused to discuss his seemingly homophobic comments.

Then, on 5 May, he hung up on LBC’s Lewis Goodall when asked about his views on gay relationships not being equal to heterosexual ones. 

Goodall played the clip on the radio show, when Galloway refused to take accountability for his comments, saying: “This is a clip of a clip. It is an edited clip of an edited clip.”

“Oh grow up, Mr Galloway. Come on!”@Lewis_Goodall asked George Galloway why he thinks gay relationships are not ‘equal’ to heterosexual relationships.

The Workers Party of Britain leader chose to hang up.

Watch the full exchange on @GlobalPlayer:

— LBC (@LBC) May 5, 2024

He then told the radio presenter that he “got this interview to talk about the election”, and that he was being “ambushed”. “More fool me thinking that your request that I come on and talk about the elections was genuine,” he said before swiftly hanging up the phone and ending the interview.

George Galloway loses seat

George Galloway speaks during his party’s manifesto launch at the Voco hotel on June 19, 2024 in Manchester, England (Getty)

George Galloway, described by AP as “a veteran British left-wing political disruptor” focused his election campaign on Gaza, with the aim of winning over Muslim voters.

In his victory speech, Labour’s Paul Waugh Waugh began by saying: “I’d like to thank George Galloway for his service.” This was followed by shouts and heckles from the crowd. “Are we going to be allowed to speak? Is this a democracy?” Waugh then said, according to The Guardian.

I thank the people of #Rochdale who gave me 54 sitting days in the last parliament as their MP. Big thanks to my agent my campaign team and the thousands who voted for me today. We took the government party to within 1500 votes and serve notice on Labour that we are here to stay…

— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) July 5, 2024

Following his defeat, Galloway took to X (formerly Twitter), to acknowledge the result, tweeting: “I thank the people of #Rochdale who gave me 54 sitting days in the last parliament as their MP. Big thanks to my agent my campaign team and the thousands who voted for me today.

“We took the government party to within 1500 votes and serve notice on Labour that we are here to stay in #Rochdale. We will field a full slate of council candidates, establish a full-time office there, campaign to re-open the Maternity Ward and A&E, and keep up the pressure on #Labour in the town.”

You can read all of our general election 2024 coverage here.

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