Bradford win means 'the world', says Galloway


George Galloway said he was not surprised he had won the Bradford West by-election as he arrived at his party's headquarters to cheers and applause today.

Speaking outside Chambers Solicitors, in Bradford, where the Respect Party based its campaign, Mr Galloway said the win meant "the world" to him.

And he promised to provide his constituency with "a strong voice and a change".

Wearing a long coat and sunglasses, Mr Galloway said voters wanted someone who would follow through on their promises.

Speaking ahead of a celebratory open-top bus tour around his new constituency, he said: "I think Bradford needs a change. Anybody who knows the city and loves it knows it's not what it was."

He added: "This is the Bradford Spring, just like the Cairo Spring and the Tunisian Spring.

"This is a rejection of the mainstream parties with their Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Tweedledee-and-a-half approach.

"It was people saying they want political leaders they can believe in, who say what they mean, do what they say and don't lie to people.

"We don't say one thing to one set of people and something else to another. Neither do we say one thing before an election and something different after."

Describing his reaction to his victory, Mr Galloway said: "I was maybe the only person in the country who wasn't surprised.

"If I believed in gambling, which I don't, I could have made myself a half a millionaire. When I arrived here, I was 200-1."

Mr Galloway said the win was a "consensual victory" which had nothing to do with race or faith.

"We appealed to people of conscience of all faiths, we appealed to people who opposed the war," he said. "It was the people of Bradford who voted me in."

He said he was trying to create a "new Labour Party".

"The Labour Party is the party I'm interested in. I don't care anything for the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats, I do care about the Labour Party because every country needs a Labour Party," he said.

A small group of supporters cheered and applauded as Mr Galloway entered the headquarters, where he hugged a campaigner who had injured himself when he fell off the campaign bus.