Galloway ejected from House of Commons

MPs vote to suspend Galloway
MPs vote to suspend Galloway

George Galloway was ejected from the House of Commons last night before MPs voted to suspend him from parliament.

The speaker "named" Mr Galloway - effectively banishing him from the house - after he continued to question the integrity of the standards watchdogs.

MPs continued debating his conduct before agreeing to suspend Mr Galloway from the House for 18 days from October 8.

Mr Galloway spent one hour defending himself before he was removed from the debate and was repeatedly warned by the speaker "you are going too far".

He argued the standards and privileges committee was a politicised tribunal and had acted hypocritically.

The speaker reprimanded Mr Galloway for accusing the committee of leaking its findings to the Sunday Times.

Mr Galloway said this had been done deliberately prior to an important London by-election and the same would not have happened to the leader of Labour, the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats.

He went on to claim it was "ridiculous" to think the Labour members of the committee would be "unbiased" towards him.

The speaker, Michael Martin, said Mr Galloway was making a gratuitous and offensive attack on the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Sir Philip Mawer.

After being removed from the House, Mr Galloway threatened to continue speaking outside. He accused MPs of being out of touch with public opinion, which he claimed fell markedly in his favour.

Sir George Young, the chairman of the committee, said Mr Galloway was "trapped in a fantasy world of conspiracy and victimisation of his views".

Harriet Harman then moved to suspend the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

Members agreed Mr Galloway had "concealed the true source of Iraqi funding" and "called into question" the integrity of the standards watchdog.

Mr Galloway will not be allowed to sit when parliament returns on October 8 and will not be able to draw his salary.

The standards and privileges committee began investigating Mr Galloway in 2003 after concerns were raised about sources of funding for his Mariam Appeal charity in Iraq.

The inquiry went on to become the committee's longest running and one of its most complex. It had to be suspended during Mr Galloway's libel trial against the Daily Telegraph.


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