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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Sightings are down, but should we be worried about Britain’s biggest fish?

Read more

A lingerie shop set for an adaptation of The Casual Vacancy confused shoppers who thought it was real.

Read more

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Have you noticed lots of ladies with smudged lippie on social media lately? Find out why they’re deliberately committing a make-up faux pas.

Emergency declared as blizzard is expected to dump up to 24 inches of snow.

With 100 days to go until the General Election we decided to give it a try.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 11:41
David Parry/PA Wire

Tube travellers were more than a little shocked this morning when met with a full-sized polar bear.

Yesterday, 11:18
One of the men was found injured in Kensington Mall in west London in the early hours of Monday (Picture: Google)

An investigation has been launched by detectives after two men were discovered with stab wounds within yards of each other in Notting Hill yesterday morning.

Yesterday, 10:31
Police said today if Arnis Zalkalns was still alive he would have been charged with Alice Gross' murder

Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns would have been charged with murdering Hanwell schoolgirl Alice Gross had he still been alive today, police said.

London Bloggers

Monday, December 22, 2014
Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.