Army of discontent: Galloway returns to parliament

George Galloway just before becoming an MP once again
George Galloway just before becoming an MP once again
Ian Dunt By

George Galloway made a triumphant return to parliament today, saying he was "the advance party" of an "army" of discontented voters.

The controversial new MP for Bradford West was introduced to the Commons by father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell and Bradford MP Gerry Sutcliffe.

He baffled onlookers by refusing to swear on the Bible and instead opted for the secular oath to the Queen – despite a highly charged campaign full of religious rhetoric in the recent by-election.

The Respect MP then shook hands with Speaker John Bercow, who exchanged warm words with him, before leaving the Commons chamber.

Speaking to reporters outside parliament, Mr Galloway said he was "just the advance party" of a new movement which rejected mainstream Westminster politics.

"There's an army mustering in the north and in the great industrial and post-industrial cities of this country, an army of discontented, alienated people who feel that this place has let them down, it has failed the country and it has failed the people," he said.

"I notice that New Labour is terrified of any further by-elections and I can understand why because this concept that I have coined, it's rather rude, that three cheeks of the same backside pretty much sums them up as far as most people in the country are concerned."

Mr Galloway caused a massive political upset by winning Bradford West in what had been expected to be an easy hold for Labour. It marks the latest stage of a remarkable political career which has seen him represent four constituencies in parliament.


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