‘This is for Gaza’ – George Galloway by-election victory speech

George Galloway addresses Sir Keir Starmer in his victory speech

Victorious George Galloway declared “this is for Gaza” as he was declared winner of the Rochdale by-election.

Mr Galloway, of the Workers Party of Britain, won a 6,000 majority over his nearest rival in the by-election, then turned his ire on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

As dozens of supporters chanted “Gall-o-way! Gall-o-way!” outside the count at Rochdale Leisure Centre, inside the winner took to the podium to speak.

His victory speech was interrupted by a heckler accusing him of being a “climate change denier” before she was drowned out by shouts of “Gall-o-way! Gall-o-way” from his supporters, and confetti was thrown at him

Mr Galloway said: “Keir Starmer – this is for Gaza. And you will pay a high price, in enabling, encouraging and covering for, the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine in the Gaza Strip.”

George Galloway's full victory speech

Mr Galloway said Rochdale, once a prosperous industrial town, had been badly let down and was now one of the poorest.

He cited the ending of maternity services in the town and the troubled status of the local football club, Rochdale AFC, and vowed councillors in the Labour-run town hall “have to go.”

But he soon returned to party politics.

He continued: “I want to tell Mr Starmer above all, that the plates have shifted tonight.

George Galloway on stage at the Rochdale by-election Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

“Beginning here in the north west, in the West Midlands, in London, from Ilford to Bethnal Green and Bow, Labour is on notice that they have lost the confidence of millions of their voters who loyally and traditionally voted for them, generation after generation.

“Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are two cheeks of the same backside and they both got well and truly spanked tonight!”

To cheers, he ended his speech with: “God bless you. God bless Rochdale. God bless Gaza.”

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