Bradford MP George Galloway has said he “regrets losing his temper” after being filmed swearing at a teenage shop worker.
Mr Galloway was on the campaign trail last Saturday afternoon when he went into electricals shop K and K Phone Accessories in Toller Lane, Bradford.
There, he got into an argument with 17-year-old Khasim Ahmed, who was looking after the shop for his father.
The teenager accused him of being absent from Bradford until election time.
He said: “When it comes back to the election, you come back.”
Mr Galloway responded with an expletive-laden reply telling Khasim that he was not standing in the elections and that he did not want his vote.
The Respect MP did not know the exchange was being filmed on Khasim’s phone, which was in his lap.
Khasim yesterday told the Telegraph & Argus: “All I said to him was, ‘Where have you been for the last two years, George Galloway?’ I could have said to him, ‘Get out of my shop.’ He disrespected me.
“He grabbed my shoulder and shook my shoulder.”
Mr Galloway’s spokesman admitted the MP’s language had been “rather extreme and regrettable”.
He said: “He regrets losing his temper in the face of extreme provocation.”
But he said Mr Galloway vehemently denied shaking the teenager’s shoulders and, if that was the accusation, it would be a matter for the police.
Mr Galloway’s spokesman also claimed the incident was “clearly a set-up” by supporters of the Labour Party.
The shopfront does display a banner for the Toller ward’s Labour candidate, Councillor Imran Hussain, and Khasim described him as a family friend.
But he was adamant he had not meant to set up or provoke Mr Galloway.
He said: “I didn’t swear at him. He swore at me.”
A Labour Party spokesman said the allegation of a Labour sting was “laughable” and added that Mr Galloway should apologise to the teenager.