Political Drama Unfolds: Labour’s Candidate Controversy and Galloway’s Surge in By-Election

Labor withdrew its support for Azhar Ali when a recording surfaced in which he alleged Israel’s complicity in the 7 October terrorist attacks. This resulted in Mr Galloway emerging as the frontrunner for the seat.

Despite Labor’s late decision to modify the vote papers, Mr Ali was still named as the Labor candidate. The party announced that it would immediately begin the process of picking a new Labor candidate for the general election.

Furthermore, Nigel Farage’s Reform UK received only 6% of the vote, significantly lower than its national poll rating of roughly 10%. Leader Richard Tice said his candidate, former Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, had received death threats during the campaign. He also stated that his party’s campaign crew was subjected to “daily threats and abuses”.

Pollster Luke Trill of More in Common said the results were “terrible” for all major parties. He rated second-placed Mr Tully’s effort as possibly more crucial than Mr Galloway’s win. However, he stated that the lesson to be gained is about candidate selection and proper diligence rather than general public opinion.

In response to Mr Galloway’s threat that the party would “pay a high price” nationally as a result of the by-election, Ms Reeves stated that the party’s policy on Gaza would not alter. “We have made our view on Gaza plain, and it was approved by the Commons only last week. We have called for a quick humanitarian ceasefire because the loss of life has become unacceptable,” he told Sky News. There must be no ground aggression in Rafah, aid must be expanded in the region, and, most significantly, we must establish a two-state solution.

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