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George Galloway interviewed under caution by police probing Israel comments: MP due to speak in Belfast on Saturday

Published 20/08/2014

Respect MP George Galloway was interviewed under police caution by police probing Israel comments
Respect MP George Galloway was interviewed under police caution by police probing Israel comments

George Galloway has vowed not be silenced after he was interviewed under caution by police investigating his declaration that Bradford was "an Israel-free zone".

West Yorkshire Police received more than 300 complaints about a speech earlier this month in Leeds in which he said Israelis were not welcome in the city where he has a constituency.

Galloway stirred up controversy locally last week, after there were calls for an upcoming talk at Belfast's Ulster Hall to be cancelled.

The controversial 'Saturday night with George Galloway' has now sold out, after the Respect MP predicted DUP complaints would make tickets "sell like hotcakes".

He is due to take to the stage this Saturday.

Meanwhile, detectives travelled to London to speak to him and he did so voluntarily under caution, and is understood to have denied being anti-Semitic.

Mr Galloway said: "This is an absolute and despicable attempt to curb my freedom of speech by people who appear to be quite happy about the indiscriminate murder of Palestinians in Gaza.

"I won't be silenced, I will keep speaking out against horrendous injustice."

He is understood to believe no prosecution for inciting racial hatred will follow his comments. He is thought to have told police that Israel was not a race.

The Crown Prosecution Service will decide whether any charges should be made

District commander for Leeds Chief Superintendent Paul Money said: "A 59-year-old man has been interviewed under caution voluntarily following complaints made about the content of a speech given in Leeds earlier this month.

"Once inquiries are completed, the matter will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration."

Film of his speech shows Mr Galloway standing in front of a Palestinian flag saying: "We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone.

"We don't want any Israeli goods. We don't want any Israeli services.

"We don't want any Israeli academics coming to the university or college.

"We don't even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, even if any of them had thought of doing so.

"We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same."

Further reading

DUP says George Galloway talk at Ulster Hall 'irresponsible' and 'could incite hatred' towards Jews

George Galloway Belfast gig at Ulster Hall sells out in wake of DUP furore

DUP attempt to block 'incendiary' Galloway gig at Ulster Hall fails

 

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