George Galloway to stand in Manchester Gorton by-election
Tuesday 21st March 2017 @ 11:11 by Adam Higgins
Gorton & Openshaw News

George Galloway is set to stand as an independent candidate in the Manchester Gorton by-election, he has confirmed.

The former Respect and Labour MP will look to claim the seat which has been held by Labour since 1935 following the death of veteran MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, who represented the constituency for three decades before he passed away aged 86 last month.

READ MORE: Tameside MPs pay tribute to Sir Gerald Kaufman

Announcing his candidacy, Mr Galloway paid tribute to Sir Gerald, saying his “friend of 30 years” had been a “big figure” in regional and national politics and “when he spoke people listened”.

“I have decided to seek election for Manchester Gorton precisely because of my admiration for its late MP and I hope to persuade voters of every background that I am the best person to try to fill his shoes,” the 62-year-old wrote in a blog post on political website Westmonster.

Mr Galloway, who represented Labour in Parliament for 16 years before being expelled from the party in 2003, split from Respect after failing to hold on to the seat in Bradford West 2015 and later made an unsuccessful attempt to run for London mayor as an independent.

The declaration comes after the Green Party chose Jess Mayo and the Liberal Democrats selected Jackie Pearcy as their respective candidates but the Conservatives, UKIP and Labour are yet to confirm who will stand for their parties.

No date has yet been set but it could be staged on May 4, the same day the new metro mayor of Greater Manchester is elected.