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.
– Salma Yaqoob, Respect Party leader
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.