George Galloway says he will re-join Labour 'pretty damn quick' if Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader

He also said a Corbyn-led Labour party would have one million members by 2020

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Indy Politics

Former MP George Galloway has said he would re-join the Labour Party if Jeremy Corbyn became its leader.

Galloway became Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead in 1987, and after that constituency was abolished before the 1997 election, he became Labour MP for its successor, Glasgow Kelvin.

He was expelled from the Labour party in 2003 for bringing the party into disrepute, after he called the then Labour Government "Tony Blair's lie machine", and said British troops fighting in Iraq should refuse to obey their orders.

He remained in his Glasgow seat until the next election, and then went on to join the Respect Party. He has represented the party in the Bethnal Green & Bow and Bradford West constituencies, but lost his Bradford Seat to Labour in May's general election.

 

However, speaking to Iain Dale on LBC Radio, Galloway said his opinions on the Labour party may change if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership bid.

When asked by Dale whether he would rejoin a Corbyn-led party, Galloway replied: "Definitely. Pretty damn quick. And I think hundreds of thousands of people would."

Earlier on the show, he threw more weight behind Corbyn, saying if he became Labour leader, "everyone on the left" would join or rejoin the party.

Despite his past success with Respect, he said: "I've always been a Labour man. I consider myself 'real Labour' - I've never been a Marxist or a Trotskyist, or any other kind of '-ist' other than a Labourist."

"And if it wasn't for Mr Blair and the Iraq War, I would never have been out of the Labour party in the first place."

If current polls are to be believed, it may not be long until Galloway finds himself back in the party.

Internal Labour polls seen by the Mirror earlier this week showed that Corbyn has a huge 22-point lead in the race, with 42 per cent of party members intending to vote for him as their first choice, compared to 22.6 per cent for Yvette Cooper and 20 per cent for Andy Burnham.

 

Galloway added that a Corbyn win would not only attract him, but hundreds of thousands of others to the party.

He said: "I would predict (and let's hope God spares us both and we can test this), that by 2020, the next General Election, a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party would have one million members."

Ballots for the Labour leadership vote, which will use the Alternative Vote system, will be sent to members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters of the party on 14 August.

The vote closes on 10 September, and the result will be announced at a special party conference on 12 September.

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