Steerpike

Watch: George Galloway hits out at Batley result

Watch: George Galloway hits out at Batley result
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After a long and often unpleasant campaign, the Batley and Spen by-election is over, with Labour managing to cling on to the seat. Labour’s candidate, Kim Leadbeater, won a paper-thin majority of 323 votes over the Tory candidate, with George Galloway trailing around 5,000 votes behind Labour.

Galloway was certainly not happy with the result this morning and gave an impromptu speech outside Huddersfield’s Cathedral House after the count was finalised. The candidate said that the returning officer had refused his request for a re-count, despite the margin of victory being less than 1 per cent and claimed a re-count was necessary, given the fact that there were not enough chairs in the hall, that counters had not been offered a cup of coffee, and because of the ‘egregious and serious election altering antics of the banana republic that is the Kirklees Labour controlled council’. Mr S can certainly vouch for the restorative properties of a hot cup of coffee at 4 a.m., but in this case it’s not exactly clear how it would solve Galloway’s 5,000 vote deficit problem…

Galloway then changed tack, and suggested that he would challenge the election result in court because of alleged falsehoods made during the campaign – citing an incident involving the Labour candidate.

He later tweeted out a video of himself on the Kremlin-controlled news channel RT, entitled ‘ANGRY SILENCE’ complaining that photos of him holding his baby had been photoshopped to show him holding a gun.

Earlier this week Galloway promised to eat his hat if Labour didn’t come third in the election. No wonder the candidate is so angry about the result…

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk

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