The Respect party leader, Salma Yaqoob, has condemned the comments by its MP George Galloway over rape as "disappointing and wrong."
Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex.
George Galloway’s comments on what constitutes rape are deeply disappointing and wrong.
There are many political issues entwined in the case of Julian Assange.
These issues cannot be used to diminish in any way the seriousness of any allegations against him.
Any individual accused of a crime, sexual or otherwise, is innocent until proven guilty.
By the same token, any individual who believes themselves to be a victim has a right to have their grievances heard in a fair manner and not have their allegations belittled or dismissed.
This is the cornerstone of justice.
This turn of events may well act to undermine Assange's defence against those powerful forces keen to make an example of him for exposing the crimes of Empire.
It has certainly taken the debate around violence against women a step backwards.
Respect MP George Galloway has defended his controversial claim that a rape allegation against WikiLeaks campaigner Julian Assange amounted to no more than bad "sexual etiquette".
Mr Galloway provoked a furious response from women's groups after he said in a video podcast that even if the complaints made against Mr Assange by two women in Sweden were true, they did not constitute rape.
In a statement the MP said:
No never means yes and non-consensual sex is rape. There's no doubt about it and that has always been my position. But if my remarks on the podcast need clarification I am happy to do that.
Julian Assange, let's be clear, has always denied the allegations. And this has all the hallmarks of a set-up.
I don't believe, from what we know, that the Director of Public Prosecutions would sanction a prosecution in Britain. What occurred is not rape as most people understand it. And it's important to note that the two women involved did not initially claim it.
George Galloway has suggesting in an online video that the rape allegations made against Julian Assange amount to "bad sexual etiquette".Read the full story ›
George Galloway overturned a 5,000 majority in the Bradford West by-election to storm home with a 10,000 vote lead in a seat held by Labour since 1974.Ed Miliband was facing renewed questions over his leadership after Labour crashed to a calamitous defeat by Respect party candidate Galloway.
Newly-elected MP George Galloway quit a Channel Four News interview after objecting to presenter Cathy Newman's questions when he likened his win to the Arab Spring. "We saw a Bradford Spring, a kind of peaceful, democratic uprising. That's what I think it was, you evidently don't," he told Newman.
@georgegalloway just walked out of an interview with me. I'd suggested arrogant to compare by-election victory with Arab spring. Watch at 7
George Galloway has walked out of a Channel 4 News interview after presenter Cathy Newman asked him whether it was slightly presumptious or arrogant of him to compare his victory in the Bradford West by-election to Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East.
Galloway later boarded a bus for a celebratory tour of his constituency and Bradford city centre.
Puffing on a cigar, he made victory signs on the top deck amid the crowd's cheers.
Referring to his stint on TV reality show Big Brother, one supporter said: "The pussy cat was the disguise of a lion."
Newly elected West Bradford MP George Galloway shrugged off Thomas Johnson's egg protest, saying the eggs had not hit him.
"He wasn't very good," he said. "Protesting? Against me? The man who got chosen by 56% of the people yesterday?"
The protestor who "egged" George Galloway said he "wanted to insult" the newly elected Bradford MP.
Thomas Johnson said: "Why would any city want a politician who got kicked out of two constituencies? Who hasn't got the common sense not to act like a submissive cat on TV? I wanted to insult him."