Election 2015

George Galloway to challenge Bradford West election result

George Galloway Image copyright Getty Images

Former MP George Galloway has announced he has started legal proceedings to challenge his general election defeat.

Mr Galloway, leader of the Respect Party, lost his Bradford West seat to Labour's Naz Shah, who he has alleged made "false statements" during the campaign to affect the result.

He also claimed "widespread malpractice" involving postal voting meant the result must be "set aside".

A Labour spokesman said the action was "pathetic and without any foundation".

Mr Galloway won the Bradford West seat in a by-election in 2012, but lost to Ms Shah - who secured a majority of more than 11,000 in last week's general election.

However, the bitter campaign was dogged by claims and counter-claims between Labour and Respect over a number of issues - particularly relating to Ms Shah's family background.

Labour accused Mr Galloway of breaching election law by making false statements during the campaign.

'Divisive politics'

A spokesman for Mr Galloway said the legal action was at an early stage.

A complaint had been made under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, which related to candidates making false statements during campaigns, the spokesman said.

In a further statement, Mr Galloway - a former Labour MP - said: "It has come to my notice that there has been widespread malpractice in this election, particularly over postal voting.

"We are in the process of compiling the information which will form part of our petition to have the result set aside."

A Labour spokesman said: "George Galloway should accept he was booted out by the people of Bradford West.

"They saw through his divisive politics and made a positive choice, by a majority of well over 11,000, to elect a brilliant new MP, Naz Shah."

Mr Galloway was reported to police on Thursday for allegedly sending a tweet about exit polls before voting closed - which is banned under election law.

His spokesman called the allegation a "storm in a thimble".

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