Ofcom rap for MP Galloway

Respect MP George Galloway has been censured by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom for making derogatory statements about a political rival on TalkSport’s breakfast show.

Galloway announced his intention to stand in the next general election in the Poplar and Limehouse constituency and said the area’s current MP Jim Fitzpatrick was ‘the minister for the shambles at Heathrow’who ‘betrayed his former workmates by opposing the great battle of the fire brigades’ union”.

Galloway then spoke of Fitzpatrick’s voting record since 2001 and said he voted strongly for the Iraq war and Labour’s anti-terror legislation. ‘All of these”, said Galloway, ‘are the reasons why it is going to be the mother of all battles in Poplar and Limehouse”.

Ofcom said Galloway, the current MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, had ‘compromised the need for due impartiality’and called his criticisms ‘inappropriate’as his opponent did not have the opportunity to respond.

Galloway, who normally presents a twice-weekly phone-in show, was filling in for the normal breakfast show presenter on 10 August when he made his comments.

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