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BBC George Galloway launching the Workers Party of Britain's general election campaign in Ashton-under-LyneBBC

George Galloway has launched the Workers Party of Britain’s general election campaign with an attack on Labour.

He told supporters Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was “indistinguishable” from Rishi Sunak and had “blood on his hands” over his position on Gaza.

Mr Galloway said his party was standing hundreds of candidates across the country and he would be “extremely disappointed” if the number elected was not in double figures.

The party was founded by Mr Galloway – a former Labour and Respect MP – in 2019 but rose to prominence after he won the Rochdale by-election earlier this year with a campaign dominated by his support for the Palestinians during the current war between Israel and Hamas.

In a speech in Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner’s former constituency of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, Mr Galloway said: “I could not tell you which is the lesser of the two evils – Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak.”

“I don’t know if asked to choose between this cheek or that cheek of an arse, that I have any preference.

“I want to boot that arse hard on 4 July in the general election,” the party leader said.

“They are indistinguishable on everything that matters – whether it’s the economy, whether it’s society. This is Blair vs Blair this election campaign.”

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Mr Galloway said he was “very confident” his party would get “hundreds of thousands of votes”.

He added: “Our candidates will make a decisive difference to the outcome of the election everywhere that we stand. Either we win or we will decide who wins.”

Mr Galloway has sought to target voters angry over Sir Keir’s position on the war in Gaza, saying he would be “speaking for the people Labour has abandoned”.

Critics argue the Labour leader was too slow to call for a ceasefire in the conflict.

Mr Galloway also accused Sir Keir of blocking left-wing pro-Palestinian candidates in favour of supporters of his leadership.

He said Sir Keir had kept “one of the most established members of Parliament in our country”, Diane Abbott, “in purgatory” for a year because she was “an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian people”.

The former shadow home secretary was suspended from the party last April for saying Jewish, Irish and Traveller people do not face racism “all their lives”.

She apologised but was not readmitted to the party until this week.

Uncertainty remained over whether she would be allowed to stand for Labour in her previous seat of Hackney North and Stoke Newington until Sir Keir said on Friday she would be free to go forward as the party’s candidate.

Mr Galloway also cited the case of Faiza Shaheen, who was banned from standing for Labour in Chingford and Woodford Green after she allegedly liked a post on X that downplayed antisemitism accusations.

“If this is how they run their own party, how do you think they’d run the country?” he said.

The Workers Party manifesto includes a promise to increase the personal tax threshold for the poorest paid and remove tax from the first £21,200 of wages for two million low-paid workers, as well as to introduce a one-off wealth tax on all estates valued over £10m.

It also calls for “a single state in which all those born in Palestine-Israel can live in peace with equal rights”, as well as a review of foreign policy and a referendum on the UK’s membership of the Nato military alliance.

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