CONTROVERSIAL Gorton candidate George Galloway is confident he can win the upcoming Parliamentary by-election and is determined to “remember an area that has been left behind.” 

The Respect Party leader is standing as an independent candidate in the by-election and is confident he can win.

Speaking exclusively to Quays News, the former Labour MP said that he wants to continue the work of his close friend Sir Gerald Kaufman, who passed away in February, but reckons Gorton has been left on the scrapheap for too long.

He said: “I was a close friend of Sir Gerald Kaufman for more than 30 years and our friendship started whilst I was an MP and continued when I ceased to be. We travelled all over the country and abroad on our twin passions of the Palestinian cause and the cause of the people of Kashmir.

“There are a lot of wards that you can see where the deprivation exists and what form it takes. So I’d like to be a voice for the left behind and continue the wider political work that Sir Gerald Kaufman was famous for.

“The overarching problem is that of poverty, of which there is way too much is in the Gorton constituency. In a city as great as Manchester that’s not something that should be tolerated.

“I’ll be publishing a manifesto in due-course but in general there’s the problems of poor-housing in many parts of the constituency, high rent, and many areas of multi-occupancy with all the problems that come with that.

“I have been talking to people in the Gorton constituency since Sir Gerald died and I’ve now got quite a considerable level of support amongst the voters there.”

Galloway, 62, also said that he does not believe that winning one of Labour’s safest seats would damage the party but would instead ruin the hopes of any Liberal Democrat influence in the area, despite Tim Farron suggesting otherwise.

Galloway added: “It would be good for Jeremy Corbyn to have someone sitting behind him who didn’t have a knife in their hand, ready to plunge it into his back.

“With me standing in the by-election it also finishes off any Liberal hope of them doing anything in the seat. They were counting on getting a good show from amongst the Asian population in the constituency and now they won’t”.

The Respect Party leader also scoffed at claims that he does not have the experience to stand as an MP in Manchester.

He added: “I am quite connected to Manchester, two of my children live there and I’m regularly in the city. I suppose like any other discerning visitor to Manchester, I eat a lot of Indian, Pakistani and Afghani food and other food on Curry Mile. I also follow the football, both teams and scored a goal at the Stretford end for the Houses of Parliament team.

“I’ve always thought that Manchester is an important part of my political and personal life and it would be a great privilege to be elected as the member of parliament.”

He also believes that he could stand up for students in the city and fight against the rising cost of tuition fees.

He said: “I was one of those that opposed the introduction of tuition fees and broke a three-line whip when I was a Labour MP, when Mr Blair whipped us to vote in favour of the policy.

“I recall a fierce argument in the door of the lobby with the chief whip, when he said to me why are you opposing us it’s only £1000. I remember saying to him, for now it is but how long before it’s £10,000.”

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