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  George Galloway: The political rebel with a cause
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ContributorCraverguy 
Last EditedCraverguy  Mar 30, 2012 07:25pm
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AuthorAndy McSmith
MediaNewspaper - Independent
News DateSaturday, March 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThere is no one in politics who can whip up a crowd quite like George Galloway can. Nor are there many with his special talent for falling out with political allies. His is a long political biography, which had lurched from controversy to controversy, and has seen a series of setbacks any one of which would have finished off a less resilient character. Somehow whenever the world of politics thinks they have seen the last of "Gorgeous George", he bounces back.

Bradford West is now the fourth constituency to have George Galloway for its MP – itself an unusual record in modern politics. There is a cruel saying in Westminster that no one is more "ex" than an ex-MP. Galloway was expected to take on that unwanted status after being expelled from the Labour Party in 2003, but made an extraordinary comeback at the 2005 general election as MP for the hastily formed Respect party in Bethnal Green and Bow.

In 2010, Labour jubilantly saw him off when he ran against Jim Fitzpatrick in Poplar and Limehouse, and again expected him to vanish from the scene. Even on Thursday evening, after voting in Bradford West was almost over, Labour officials were quite sure that they had held the seat, though they acknowledged that Galloway had made an impact and expected him to come second.

Instead, after Easter, Galloway will return to Parliament, where he first made a mark 25 years ago. In the 1987 general election, he reclaimed Glasgow Hillhead, which the Labour Party had lost in a by-election in 1981 to Roy Jenkins, leader of the SDP. Most new MPs have to wait years before they make the front pages of the national press. Galloway achieved national fame straight away – but not in a good way.
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