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Bradford MP George Galloway says much of his job is tedious
7:00am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
Bradford MP George Galloway has sparked a row by suggesting he finds his current job tedious.
In a magazine interview, the Respect MP for Bradford West said he found Parliament “two per cent terrifying, and 98 per cent tedium”, while saying he “relished“ elections.
Fellow Bradford MP David Ward accused him of showing “sickening contempt for the electorate”, but Mr Galloway has since been at pains to say he was only referring to his work in Parliament, rather than in Bradford. He said his work in Bradford West was “about the only bit” he enjoyed.
Mr Galloway’s comments came as he discussed whether or not he would be running against Boris Johnson for mayor of London in 2016.
In the interview with Total Politics, Mr Galloway said he hadn’t yet made up his mind. He said: “I’m interested in running for the mayor of London in 2016 but I haven’t decided.
“I like elections more than I like serving. I relish them in the way most politicians don’t, and this is the only mass popular election that there is here.”
Reacting to the comments, Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, said: “If he was trying to say that being an MP isn’t as glamorous as people think it is, then that is certainly true.”
David Ward, Lib Dem MP for Bradford East, called for Mr Galloway to step down if he wasn’t interested in his job.
Mr Ward claimed he was having to pick up more and more of Mr Galloway’s constituency work that “he can’t be bothered with”.
He said: “Just leave us, just go. He serves no purpose at all for his local constituents.
“Anything that takes more than a few seconds, like a quote or a speech or putting an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, he can’t be bothered with.”
Community figures also raised concerns about how much work Mr Galloway was doing locally. Elizabeth Hellmich, a community campaigner in Heaton, said he “doesn’t do anything for us”.
David Cubitt, the founder chairman of the now-defunct organisation Manningham Means Business, said Mr Galloway’s election was the “worst thing that could have possibly happened” for Manningham.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus last night, Mr Galloway said he hadn’t been referring to his constituency work as tedious, only life in the House of Commons.
Of his work in Bradford West, he said: “That’s about the only bit I enjoy.”
He also defended his local role, saying it was untrue Mr Ward was picking up his constituency work and that he held a popular surgery at his Grattan Road office each week.
Meanwhile, a long-running rift between MP George Galloway and the five Respect councillors at Bradford Council looks set to be resolved next week.
When asked about Mr Galloway’s most recent remarks, Councillor Alyas Karmani, leader of the Respect group at Bradford Council, said: “I think his comments are self-explanatory.
“We as a group in the Council will be making a decision on our future and whether it is with the Respect party or not, within the next week.”
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