George Galloway Publicly Sacked By Holyrood Magazine After Rape Comments

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GEORGE GALLOWAY
George Galloway publicly sacked after rape comments | PA

George Galloway has been publicly sacked as a columnist for political magazine Holyrood after his "gobsmacking" comments about rape.

The move comes after the MP for Bradford West defended his earlier claim that Julian Assange's alleged crimes did not “constitute rape” - by refusing to back down.

The Scottish political magazine's editor Mandy Rhodes said she was giving Galloway the boot as "there is no excuse, ever, for sex without consent."

She added: "Regardless of the details of the Assange case, Galloway’s comments and inappropriate language about rape per se are alarming."

Salma Yaqoob, the leader of Galloway's party Respect, has also condemned the comments, saying in a statement on Tuesday they were "deeply disappointing and wrong."

"There are many political issues entwined in the case of Julian Assange.

"These issues cannot be used to diminish in any way the seriousness of any allegations against him."

And outgoing Corby MP Louise Mensch weighed in on the controversy surrounding George Galloway's comments on the Julian Assange saga, telling the Respect politician: "Sexual consent is not football; you can't buy a season ticket."

In a statement released on Tuesday as an attempt to 'clarify' his remarks, Galloway defied his critics, saying "what occurred is not rape as most people understand it. And it's important to note that the two women involved did not initially claim it."

His outburst was condemned by Rape Crisis as "offensive and deeply concerning".

The Respect party MP was also criticised on Monday after describing Assange's alleged attack as "bad sexual etiquette" in his podcast, Good Night with George Galloway, posted on YouTube.

Assange is accused of sexual molestation, unlawful coercion and penetrating a woman while she slept.

Around 21 minutes into the podcast, Galloway said: "You decide what this is about. If you can't, you probably ought to be watching CBBC.

"What I am going to say is going to be controversial, because somebody has to say this. A reign of intellectual terror has descended on this subject."

He added: "Let me tell you, I think that Julian Assange's personal sexual behaviour is something sordid, disgusting, and I condemn it.

"But even taken at its worst, the allegations made against him by the two women – and I'm not even going into their political connections, I'm going to leave that for others and for another day."

Dr Alison Phipps, Director of Gender Studies at Sussex University said his comments were "horrendous."

"I think George Galloway's comments are absolutely horrendous and show how some (not all) representatives of the British left are not only gender-blind, they have also let their anti-Americanism take precedence over any other politics."

Dr Amy Russell, Deputy Director of Leeds University's Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, told The Huffington Post UK that Galloway's comments were hurting women.

"The conviction rate for rape is disgustingly low in this country and while the legal system is fundamentally flawed very few rapes even get reported. The under-reporting of rape can be attributed to attitudes like Galloway's; that disbelieves rape survivors.

"Julian Assange's politics are a separate issue to his behaviour towards these women and the two should not be confused in an attempt to defend him. "

SEE ALSO: Louise Mensch Attacks George Galloway's 'Clarification' On Assange Rape Allegations

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