Galloway banned over Assange rape comments

By Charles Maggs

George Galloway has been banned by the National Union of Students (NUS) following his recent comments regarding rape allegations against Julian Assange.

The ban will prevent Galloway from sharing a platform with any NUS speakers or attending any of their events.

The Respect MP had defended Wikilieaks founder Julian Assange, saying that his alleged actions were merely "bad sexual etiquette" and not rape.

He had attempted to stop the ban by sending a letter to NUS executives stating his surprise at the motion.

"We are extremely surprised to learn that the NUS executive plans to debate a motion to ban George Galloway from speaking at NUS organised events and NUS elected officers from speaking on platforms with George Galloway," it said.

"No-one from the NUS executive planning to move or support this motion has bothered to contact him or his office to seek clarification of his views on the matters that have provoked this extraordinary move, not that the NUS executive has ever invited him to speak on its platforms in recent years."

A motion had also been put forward proposing to ban veteran Labour activist and former MP Tony Benn for similar comments, but this was withdrawn after he retracted his statement.

This had come as a particular surprise as he has regularly campaigned alongside students over many decades.

Respect leader Salma Yaqoob quit the party last week following Galloway's comments. His office has not yet made a response to the ban.