George Galloway and Queen of the South escape punishment after breaching tier 4 restrictions, police confirm

Politician and his family were allowed to attend Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Dundee despite Scotland entering tier 4 restrictions on Boxing Day

Jack de Menezes
Sports News Correspondent
@JackdeMenezes
Monday 28 December 2020 17:35
comments
Nicola Sturgeon announces Boxing Day lockdown and festive travel ban in Scotland

Queen of the South and politician George Galloway will not face any further action after the Scottish Championship club admitted to a “total error of judgement” in allowing him the former MP and his family into the Boxing Day defeat by Dundee.

The club have been “reminded of their responsibilities” by Police Scotland and explained the legislature of the current tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, which came into force on Saturday across the country and prevent any guests from attending football games.

Galloway, the former Labour and Respect Party MP, posted a picture of Saturday’s match at Palmerston Park on his Twitter profile, much to the anger of fans who remain locked out of games.

But authorities’ preference not to take action retrospectively against anyone caught breaking Covid-19 restrictions means that no further action will be brought against either Galloway or the club - although Queen of the South may still face reprimand by the Scottish Professional Football League.

A Police Scotland statement read: "We have spoken to Queen of the South to explain the legislation and remind the club of their responsibilities to comply with the law. Police Scotland will not be taking any further action in relation to this matter."

READ MORE: George Galloway in breach of tier 4 restrictions at football match

Queen of the South issued a fresh statement after making a brief comment on Sunday to explain the situation to fans, and after many expressed disappointment with the lack of contrition for Galloway’s presence when fans remain locked out of games, the club made “an unreserved apology” for the mix-up.

"Reflecting on our statement to the fans last night we realise that we should have given a fuller apology,” the club said.

"George Galloway was granted permission to attend our game against Dundee when Dumfries and Galloway was in tier one and fans were being allowed back into matches.

"We however accept that we should've readdressed the decision once the rules changed and should've informed Mr Galloway that he could no longer attend the match.

"We realise it was a total error of judgement and we should have been more considerate of our loyal supporters.

"We would again like to issue an unreserved apology to our fans and would like to reassure them that we fully accept and understand their anger. It was a genuine mistake that shouldn't have been made.

"As we navigate our way through some tough times both on and off the park your valued support is needed more than ever."

One fan labelled the club “a disgrace” for allowing Galloway into Palmerston Park simply because he was a ‘name’ when normal fans were not allowed to attend due to the tier 4 restrictions that came into force across Scotland on Boxing Day. But Galloway defended his presence at the match.

I live in D&G (Dumfries and Galloway). My family have FIVE season tickets. I’m about to be a sponsor,” Galloway responded.

“I’m spreading the word about the club to millions of people. Are you sure you want to speak in this way?”

The Dundee-born former Labour and Respect Party MP has only 359,712 followers on Twitter - well short of the “millions” that he boasted to be promoting the Championship club too - and to add insult to injury Queen of the South lost the match 3-1 and remain bottom of the Championship.

Join our new commenting forum

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

View comments