George Galloway: Respect MP accuses Labour candidate Naz Shah of lying about her forced marriage

The room descended into chaos as the Respect MP took to the stand in Manningham to make his plea to potential voters

Jenn Selby
Friday 10 April 2015 08:20 BST
British member of parliament George Galloway of Respect Party.
British member of parliament George Galloway of Respect Party.

George Galloway has sensationally claimed that Bradford West Labour candidate Naz Shah, who is set to stand against him in the General Election in May, lied about the details of her forced marriage.

The women’s rights campaigner found herself thrust into the media spotlight in March after she published an emotive personal account of how her early life of extreme poverty and violence inspired her to become an MP.

Among the details she recalled was being sent to Pakistan at the age of 12 to escape her mother’s violent drug-dealing partner, only to be strong-armed into an arranged marriage at the age of 15.

Naz Shah said she is inspired by the 'dreams of my mother'

Speaking at the Carlisle Business Centre in Manningham, where prospective parliamentary candidates from Respect, Labour, Conservatives, Ukip, the Lib Dems and the Greens took to the podium to make their case to potential voters, Galloway said to Shah: “The 27 of February was the day you came bottom of the poll with just 13 votes out of almost 220 in the Bradford West Labour Party selection.

“You are a big loser, then, and the kind of way you have embarked on this campaign will make you a big loser again. You have only a passing acquaintance with the truth. You claimed, and gullible journalists believed you, that you were subject to a forced marriage at the age of 15. But you were not 15. You were 16-and-a-half.”

Galloway was halted by the chair of the debate after the room descended into jeers from the crowd.

Galloway later continued: “The issue is, my opponent is a liar. She lied about me, she lied about her age, she slandered this community for her own selfish ends. She played into every stereotype.”

Given a final 20 seconds by the chair to make his plea to constituents, he said: “I have set politics alight in Bradford. That’s why the media are here. We turned Bradford politics upside down, we’ve shaken the complacency of Labour, which is why they hate us so much. They have betrayed the people in Bradford and elsewhere in the country. We are the real Labour party, and that’s why they hate us.”

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