Lib Dem candidate suspended over Galloway endorsement

Workers Party MP George Galloway has spoken of forming a ‘grand alliance’ to defeat Labour, his former party, at the local elections in Rochdale.

Christopher McKeon
Saturday 20 April 2024 21:05 BST
MP for Rochdale, George Galloway (Yui Mok/PA)
MP for Rochdale, George Galloway (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

The Liberal Democrats have suspended a council candidate after she was endorsed by George Galloway.

The recently elected Workers Party MP appeared in a video encouraging voters to back Lib Dem Rabina Asghar, “to get Labour out of the town hall” in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Mr Galloway has previously spoken of forming a “grand alliance” to oppose Labour in Rochdale at the local elections on May 2, saying his former party had “abused their power for so very long”.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said Ms Asghar had now been suspended by the party, adding: “We wholly reject the divisive politics of George Galloway and do not want any endorsement or connection to him.”

Ms Asghar, a translator for the NHS, has unsuccessfully contested the Spotland and Falinge ward for the Lib Dems in each of the last three local elections, each time coming within a few hundred votes of the Labour candidate.

A video posted on social media showed Ms Asghar and several other activists wearing Lib Dem rosettes standing with Mr Galloway, who said people “might be surprised” to see him supporting the party’s candidate.

He said: “We are determined to get Labour out of Spotland, to get Labour out of the town hall where they have abused their power for so very long.

“I have got no hesitation of asking anyone who supports me, everyone who supports me, who lives in Spotland, to vote for Rabina. Rabina is the councillor we need here in this ward.”

Labour has overall control of Rochdale Council, with 46 out of 60 councillors, and 20 seats are up for election on May 2.

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