IT IS “long past time” for the “vicious, illegal and disgraceful decision to expel George Galloway from the Labour Party” to be overturned, Andrew Murray said yesterday.
The Unite chief of staff, who was a long-time chairman of the Stop the War Coalition, praised Mr Galloway for his role in “the leadership of that movement” which organised the largest march in Britain’s history against the Iraq war on February 15 2003.
His backing could be significant as he is close to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and helped run the party’s highly successful 2017 election campaign.
Former MP Mr Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party on October 23 2003 for allegedly bringing the party into disrepute, including by calling on British soldiers not to obey orders in the illegal invasion of Iraq and for saying that then prime minister Tony Blair and US president George W Bush had assaulted the country “like wolves.”
No disciplinary action has ever been taken by Labour against Mr Blair over the war, which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and the birth of extremist Islamist movements such as Isis, despite evidence that he lied to Parliament to justify British participation.
Following his expulsion, Mr Galloway helped found the anti-war Respect party, for which he won the Bethnal Green and Bow parliamentary seat and later Bradford West, losing the latter to Labour’s Naz Shah in 2015.
Since Mr Corbyn won the Labour leadership in that year, Mr Galloway has expressed a desire to return to the party and a change.org petition calling for his reinstatement has received over 5,000 signatures.