George Galloway relaunches Respect party after rejection of “mega mosque”

19:32 29 December 2012

George Galloway speaks at Respect party re-launch in Newham

George Galloway speaks at Respect party re-launch in Newham

Archant

George Galloway took to the stage last night to relaunch his Respect party in Newham and try to force a local election after the council rejected plans for a so-called “mega mosque”.

Mr Galloway vowed to put a petition up on the Downing Street website as soon as Parliament resumes after its Christmas break demanding Newham Council changes its decision on the mosque or changes its leadership.

The former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, who is now the MP for Bradford, said he believed Newham is ready for a political revival after councillors voted against a planning application for a mosque holding more than 9,000 people in Canning Town, run by followers of the controversial Tablighi Jamaat movement.

More than 50 people turned out last night for the public meeting in Plaistow which also saw Lee Jasper, a former advisor to previous London Mayor Ken Livingstone, and Yvonne Ridley, a war correspondent who converted to Islam after being captured by the Taliban, take to the stage.

Dressed all in black Mr Galloway told people gathered inside Harold Road Centre, off Green Street, that he would send one of his top people to challenge Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales’ leadership in Newham at the next local election. He did not rule out that he might take on the challenge himself.

If the Respect party does not succeed in forcing an early election in Newham, following the refusal of the mosque, then the party plans to put up a mayoral candidate and councillors in 2014 when elections are due.

Mr Galloway said: “Newham is ready for a political revival and as far as we’re concerned it begins here tonight. We know there is something rotten in this borough. New Labour has far too much power for the good of the borough.”

He then hit out at the councillors decision to reject the mosque.

He said: “It’s a big mosque because a lot of people want to pray to the almighty. What is wrong with praying?”

Mr Galloway went on to say that you can lend money at high interest rates at a time when “destructive” aspects of society such as alcohol and gambling is rife.

“But you can’t build a mosque,” he said.

“There are 90,000 Muslims voters in Newham as Labour is going to find out at the next local election. And they have all just got a slap in the face by their own leadership.”

He asked the audience if they thought the council would have turned down plans for a Catholic church or Jewish synagogue.

“They did it because the people involved are Muslims. And because they thought they could get away with it,” he said

And he warned New Labour they could suffer the same faith as in Tower Hamlets where he defeated their MP Oona King in 2005.

Mr Galloway said: “Oona King, who is now skating on ice, voted to attack Iraq when 90 per cent of her electorate where against the war because she thought she could get away with it because who else would they vote for in Tower Hamlets.

“There was only me so she thought there would just be a bit of rocking of the boat.”

He branded the decision to reject the mosque an insult to Muslims in Newham.

“We can’t take the decision on the mosque lying down. All my experience in Bradford and Tower Hamlets tells me that if you fail first time try again. The leadership in Newham must be changed.”

Newham previously had three Respect councillors but all sitting councillors are Labour.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

There’s been a boom in people wanting their pre-tunnel lobes back.

Read more

Chelsea socialite and fashionista Millie is a devoted follower of the latest trends.

Read more

Former TOWIE lovebirds Sam Faiers and Joey Essex have reportedly split up, this time for good.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

There’s been a boom in people wanting their pre-tunnel lobes back.

Two months after choosing to end her cancer treatment, Lynda Bellingham passed away.

Experts suggest intercourse was carried out ‘sideways and square-dance style’.

The fire will not affect electricity supplies, energy secretary Ed Davey has been told by National Grid.

TOP Stories

15 minutes ago
Henry Ikose outside his home where he caught the burglar

The victim of an armed burglar put his life on the line by pinning him down until police arrived.

12:57
Sweeping statements: Banksy's identity still a secret  (Photo by Dave Etheridge-Barnes/Getty Images)

Never fear, Banksy fans: the infamous street-artist has not been unmasked, despite frenzied reports on American websites.

Can you imagine spotting this on your commute?! [Photograph from YouTube]

We’ve all seen some weird things on the Tube in our time, but this is something else... [WARNING: Video contains some swearing]

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.