Entertainment

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Labour deputy leader Watson condemns Galloway ‘bigotry’

Tom Watson has welcomed the presenter’s dismissal from TalkRadio.

George Galloway has been sacked following his comments (Dave Higgens/PA)
George Galloway has been sacked following his comments (Dave Higgens/PA)

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson has condemned the “bigotry” of George Galloway following allegedly anti-Semitic comments made online.

Galloway was sacked by TalkRadio after celebrating the defeat of Tottenham in the Champions League final as it prevented “Israel flags on the cup”.

Mr Watson welcomed the dismissal of the radio host and former MP and decried his “hate-fuelled” comments.

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Tom Watson has called for solidarity with the Jewish community (Yui Mok/PA)

The shadow media minister told the Press Association: “It is right that TalkRadio have cancelled George Galloway’s radio show after his latest hate-fuelled remarks.

“There can be no place for this hatred in our society.

“We must stand together against bigotry and in solidarity with the Jewish community.

“I welcome the decision to take a voice that thrives on division off the air.”

Tottenham are known for having historically significant support from the Jewish community.

Galloway’s employer TalkRadio labelled the host’s celebration of their loss anti-Semitic, and announced that it had severed ties with the presenter of The Mother Of All Talk Shows programme.

In a statement, the station said: “TalkRadio has terminated George Galloway’s weekly show with immediate effect. As a fair and balanced news provider, TalkRadio does not tolerate anti-Semitic views.”

Galloway had posted following Liverpool’s victory in the final in Madrid: “Congratulations to the great people of Liverpool to the memory of the socialist miner Bill Shankley to the fallen 96 to those who fought for justice for them and to the Liverpool dockers. No Israel flags on the Cup!”

The former Labour and Respect Party politician said he would see his former employer in court following the news of his sacking.

He also declared his support for Palestine.

In a string of tweets following his dismissal, he said: “I’ve just been sacked by @talkRADIO See you in Court guys. #Palestine #Moats Long live Palestine.”

He then added: “I’ve been given a Red Card from @talkRADIO for ‘over-celebrating’ #Liverpool famous victory over Spurs. Not sure it’s the wisest move Mr Murdoch’s team ever made given the history and all.”

Media watchdog Ofcom had received numerous complaints about Galloway’s show.

Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl said Mr Galloway’s tweet was “blatant anti-Semitism”.

She added: “We also applaud TalkRadio for taking this poisonous and divisive figure off air.

“His attempt to bring hatred into a wonderful occasion for English football has attracted the derision it deserves.”

A spokeswoman for the Jewish Leadership Council said: “George Galloway never misses an opportunity to hurl insults at Israel or any person or body that he feels might have support from Israel. He is a repeat offender.

“It is fitting that both Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur have condemned his self-seeking antics. It seems that this latest tirade has backfired.

“TalkRadio have made entirely the right decision in sacking him.”

PA Media

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