Live updates

Respect parliamentary candidate criticises Galloway

The Respect candidate in the upcoming Manchester Central by-election, Kate Hudson has echoed the criticism from her leader about George Galloway's controversial comments on rape:

Respect leader: Galloway's comments are 'disappointing and wrong'

The Respect party leader, Salma Yaqoob, has condemned the comments by its MP George Galloway over rape as "disappointing and wrong."

In a statement on her website she has said:

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.

– Salma Yaqoob, Respect Party leader


Galloway defends Assange case claim

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".

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 defiant in Bradford victory

George Galloway has hit back at critics on twitter after being widely mocked for a tweet that described his Bradford by-election victory as a "Blackburn triumph."

The Guardian's Nick Cohen criticised Galloway in an opinion piece, whilst Times columnist David Aaronovitch hit out at him on twitter.


George Galloway walks out of Channel 4 interview

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 celebrates by-election victory with open-top bus tour

MP George Galloway celebrates his West Bradford by-election victory on a bus Credit: PA

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."

Load more updates