It was 'the best day of Galloway's life' – then the eggs rained in
Bradford West's new MP describes his victory as a 'truly historic result'
Saturday 31 March 2012
It was not quite the reception George Galloway had hoped for as he greeted his new constituents on a day he had described as "the best" of his life.
The by-election victor was ambushed as he left the city centre HQ of his Respect party by protester Thomas Chippendale, who lobbed a dozen eggs at the new Bradford West MP – but missed.
Lying in wait earlier, Mr Chippendale, 26, a salesman, said: "I voted Monster Raving Loony Party. I can't believe they let this guy in. I'm gutted. He has come here just to line his pockets.
"I am so disgusted he got in. He is a leech and a parasite. He just got in because he took advantage of the unsecured Muslim vote and everyone got on the bandwagon. I was born and raised in Bradford but am very disappointed in my city – which is why I brought the eggs."
But while he splattered the street with yokes his target – a veteran egg dodger – eluded his aim. Supporters swarmed across the road and formed a human wall between Mr Galloway and his attacker, who fled before police arrived.
With no egg on his face, Mr Galloway boarded his celebratory open-top bus unabashed, twirling his victory cigar, and took up position in the "prow" of the top deck, arms stretched out before him and microphone in hand.
He spent the rest of the afternoon breathing fiery rhetoric over Bradford's unassuming streets, delivering a flamboyant thank you to the voters that was as captivating as it was surreal. Puffing his chest out like a commander-in-chief, he pointed out Bradford political landmarks and declared himself "the new broom that will sweep clean the corridors of power".
There was only the occasional outburst of heckling. To a shout of "You should support the troops", Galloway snapped back: "I do support the troops. That's why I want them to come home alive with all their limbs. It is the Government who are sending them to their deaths."
He pointed an accusing finger at Bradford City Hall before declaring that the Respect party's next target would be the local government elections in five weeks' time.
He described his victory "as a truly historic result" that showed "people do not want to vote for Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee. They want a political leader they can believe in, who believes in what they're saying, and says what they mean."
Mr Galloway's support yesterday appeared rock solid among the city's Asian population, but more divided among white voters. Richard Jefferson, 36 and unemployed, said: "I voted for George because he seemed like the best. It is the first time I have ever voted and I did it because Bradford needs change."
Adrian Parkinson, 41, a draftsman, stuck to his guns as a Labour voter but believed Mr Galloway's political clout would win the day. He said: "A lot of people probably just voted for him because they have seen him on TV."
Shilpa Patel, 29, whose family has run a fruit and vegetable shop in Manningham, north of the city centre, for 45 years, said: "I have always voted Conservative before. But he changed my mind. We met someone new who is going to fight on and speak out for us."
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...