Cricketer Monty Panesar to stand for Geroge Galloway’s Workers Party at general election

Mr Panesar will contest the Ealing, Southall seat in west London

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 30 April 2024 15:34 BST
Panesar's England recall

Former England cricketer Monty Panesar will stand for the Workers Party at the general election, its leader George Galloway has said.

Mr Panesar will contest the Ealing, Southall seat in west London, currently held by Labour with a majority of 16,084.

“Monty, of course, was a great left arm spinner and so we could do with him”, Mr Galloway told LBC on Tuesday.

The left-wing firebrand was on Tuesday set to unveil 200 parliamentary candidates outside parliament, with Mr Panesar, who appeared in 50 tests for England and represented Sussex, Essex and Northamptonshire at county level, the headline announcement.

Speaking after his candidacy was confirmed, Mr Panesar said he was running for parliament so that he could stand up for the working class.

“When I played for England there was so much support from the fans and the whole nation when they put me where I am today, it’s my turn now to actually help the working class people, whatever problems they have,” he said.

“The gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger and bigger”.

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar (GETTY IMAGES)

Mr Galloway was elected to the House of Commons for the third different political party in February after winning the Rochdale byelection.

He secured a majority of 5,697 in the Greater Manchester seat, which has a sizeable Muslim population, in an election that was dominated by the war in Gaza.

Labour withdrew support for its candidate Ali Azhar after he made controversial remarks about Israel.

Mr Ali was recorded in a meeting of the Lancashire Labour Party suggesting that Israel allowed Hamas’s 7 October terror attack to happen and used it as a pretext to invade Gaza.

He apologised and denied the remarks were antisemitic.

Mr Galloway’s Workers Party ran what the opposition described as a highly divisive campaign focused on the single issue of the conflict in Gaza.

Asked if he did not want Israel to exist following his victory, Mr Galloway told reporters: “Well, no state has a right to exist.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews described Mr Galloway’s election as a “dark day” for the Jewish community and “British politics in general”.

After the vote, Mr Galloway vowed to be a thorn in the side of  Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer by standing candidates in seats across the country.

He has vowed to target constituencies with large Muslim populations and campaign on the plight of Palestinians, seeking to stoke tensions within Labour over the issue.

Some 70 Labour councillors resigned amid the party’s refusal over many weeks to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, although the party has since done so.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in