George Galloway 'can stand in Scottish elections'

Image caption,
George Galloway failed to win a parliamentary seat in the last general election

Former MP George Galloway can stand for the Respect party in the next Scottish election after it agreed to changes at its annual conference.

The Respect party reversed a policy which stopped it from campaigning and organising in Scotland.

He said he was "buoyed up" by the change and by the party's "confidence".

Dundee-born Mr Galloway was elected MP in the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency in 2005 but failed to win a seat in May's general election.

He had attempted to secure the nearby Poplar and Limehouse seat in London's East End as a Respect party candidate.

Respect said it had not previously targeted Scotland because it was already represented by Socialists in Parliament but the political landscape shifted in 2007 when the Scottish Socialist Party failed to return any candidates.

Respect said the change was supported by about 80% of the vote but also said a final decision was yet to be taken on whether the party would fight the election.

Mr Galloway said: "I'm buoyed up by today's vote and by my party's confidence, even more so by the sentiment from the overwhelming majority of delegates and from supporters in Glasgow encouraging me to stand."

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