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Galloway: Ofcom is the wrong body to oversee press

The Bradford West MP George Galloway says having Ofcom oversee a self-regulatory body for the press is completely wrong. But the Bradford West MP who had his phone hacked by the News of the World, has welcomed most of the key proposals in the Leveson Report.

"It's a very clever report, trying to bridge the two demands of freedom for the press and some regulatory backup to rule on its excesses," Galloway said. "He is suggesting an independent, self regulatory body which would be overseen by Ofcom. And that's where I part company with him.

Ofcom is entirely the wrong body for this job, it's proscriptive, narrow and conservative. I've had first-hand experience of it. It is not a body which welcomes thrusting, inquiring, investigative journalism. Ofcom would be the deadening hand on the press.'

– George Galloway MP, Respect Bradford West

Galloway added: "Leveson's criticism of the police, particularly the Met police, for its cosy, often corrupt, relationship with the Murdoch press is spot on. Thousands of people whose phones were hacked, including me, would never have known about it had there not been a second more robust inquiry."

George Galloway says Sir Norman Bettison should go

Bradford West MP George Galloway has joined calls for the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire to resign for his part in the Hillsborough disaster.

Mr Galloway claims Sir Norman Bettison, who was a senior officer in the South Yorkshire force involved in the Hillsborough investigation, must have known about the cover-up, which led to fans being blamed for the tragedy.

He said: "He's either a knave or a fool. If either he isn't fit to be in charge of one of the country's largest constabularies. He should go, and go today. I have tabled a motion in the House of Commons today which demands just that."

From the outset South Yorkshire police set out to deflect responsibility for the disaster onto Liverpool fans, when it is clear that a major incident plan was not implemented and that there were obvious and manifest police failures in response to the disaster. Worse than that the police altered statements on an industrial scale and briefed the media that drunken, ticketless fans were to blame. It is now clear that this was a disgraceful attempt to blackguard the dead, 41 of whom, we now know, might be alive today if the police and the rescue services had acted properly.

– George Galloway MP

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Tributes to former MP

Marsha Singh Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Labour MPs have paid tribute to former colleague Marsha Singh who has died four months after quitting the Commons due to ill health. Mr Singh announced he was stepping down in March after representing Bradford West since the Labour landslide of 1997.

In one of the biggest UK by-election shocks, his 18,000-plus majority was then overturned by Respect's George Galloway.

George Galloway MP Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna wrote on Twitter: "So sad to hear of the death of our colleague and friend. All our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time." Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith described him as "a lovely, warm man of great integrity".

Mr Singh, who was a ministerial aide and served on the home affairs and international development select committees, leaves two children and two stepchildren.

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