Bradford leader ousted by Galloway's Respect Party

George Galloway celebrates with party supporters at Respect Party Headquarters in Bradford Credit: PA

George Galloway's Respect Party has delivered another knockout blow to Labour in Bradford, defeating the party leader Ian Greenwood.

If Mr Greenwood had won his seat his party would have taken overall control of the council. Before the result, no party had overall control in Bradford, but Labour ran the authority as a minority administration.

On the night, Mr Greenwood's seat was the crucial final result to be announced. The votes for the Little Horton ward had to be recounted three times. In the end, just 17 votes separated Bradford's Labour leader and the winner, Alyas Karmani of the Respect Party.

There were scenes of fist-pumping at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre as Respect supporters celebrated each of their victories. But Mr Galloway himself, boycotted the count following a dispute with the council over how many passes his party was allowed.

Speaking after his defeat, Mr Greenwood said he did not think the result meant Respect now held the balance of power in the city. He said he thought the key to Respect's success was Mr Galloway coming to the city and energising a mass of youngsters.

"He's made promises that I hope that he can keep but I doubt that he can."

He added that Mr Galloway's energisation would not last and Bradford would be left with a

"...generation of disenfranchised and alienated young people."

Ian Greenwood told Calendar after the result that he is 'not convinced' that George Galloway and the Respect Party can keep the promises they have made to voters.