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George Galloway showered in glitter by protesters during university address

Published 23/11/2016

George Galloway said he was left feeling unwell but continued with his talk covered in glitter
George Galloway said he was left feeling unwell but continued with his talk covered in glitter

Police were called to a university after protesters showered George Galloway with glitter while he addressed students.

The firebrand politician said his pregnant wife jumped to his defence when the incident happened at the University of Aberdeen.

Mr Galloway said he was left feeling "a little unwell" after the "unknown substance" got in his eyes and lungs, but he continued with the talk nonetheless, albeit covered in glitter.

Around 100 people were attending the talk on Tuesday evening, which was organised by the Aberdeen University Students' Association Politics and International Relations Society.

Ryan Houghton, 25, who was at the event, said: "Just as George Galloway began to speak, about six people from the front row slowly walked towards him.

"Everyone thought they were going to make a silent protest but they pulled out two jars of glitter and threw it over George Galloway.

"People came and tried to get in between them to stop it and then there was arguing and shouting and students and staff tried to get them out of the room.

"His wife was in the scrummage and she was pregnant so people were trying to stop things getting worse.

"The protesters were shouting insults but eventually they left and George then carried on the talk as long as he was expected to, but he was covered in glitter."

Mr Houghton, a second year politics and international relations student, added: "When it went on to the questions and answers people who spoke apologised. Everyone was on his side and there was no heckling."

Other students said they were disappointed by the behaviour of the protesters, believed to be from a left-wing student group, who shouted insults at Mr Galloway.

Ruhi Singha, 19, a first year history student, said : "Everyone was very shocked and disappointed at the students. I feel that he was just there to express his political opinions.

"He should not have been attacked for it because it is a free country. It doesn't represent the views of the university. It's not right to attack someone for speaking."

On Twitter, ‏university student Jacob Campbell said: " Sure I speak for many when I say - left or right wing - free speech is vital on Uni Campuses. Sorry from Aberdeen Uni to @georgegalloway."

Footage of the incident appears to show several people carrying placards walk in front of the stage where the politician, wearing his trademark fedora, is on his feet. A shower of gold and then green glitter is then thrown in the air.

A woman can be seen leaping over a desk towards the stage in an apparent attempt to apprehend the culprits and a scuffle breaks out, with a woman repeatedly shouting: "Who did that?"

Mr Galloway later tweeted: "Someone calling themselves 'Trans' and an 'anarchist' led a five person attack on me on the platform at Aberdeen University. I continued. I now have an unknown substance in my eyes and lungs and feel a little unwell. But the struggle continues :-)

"Few weeks go by when the 'identity politics' crowd don't strike one campus or another either physically or with their 'no platform' demands... my pregnant wife leapt forward to defend me God bless her."

Police Scotland said: "We can confirm that officers attended reports of a disturbance in High Street, Old Aberdeen, at 7.45pm on November 22.

"Inquiries are at an early stage and we have not spoken to the individual concerned."

Aberdeen University said it would not be commenting as it is a matter for police.

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