George Galloway was roughed up in West London’s upmarket Notting Hill on Friday evening, leaving the controversial Respect MP badly bruised. The assault took place on Golborne Road, where Galloway was posing for pictures. A man reportedly made a comment about the Holocaust before attacking the Bradford West MP.
Police arrested a man at the scene. Galloway made a statement at the local police before being taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington where he is expected to spend the night.
A Respect spokesman said “this guy just attacked him, leapt on him and started punching him,” adding, "It appears to be connected with his comments about Israel because the guy was shouting about the Holocaust." It is not know if the attacker had any political affiliation. "George is badly bruised but OK. He has bruising to his head and face and is in a pretty bad shape," the spokesman said.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that Galloway had been attacked. A statement read: "Police were called at approximately 1940 hours this evening to Golborne Road, W10, after a man was assaulted in the street. Officers attended. The suspect was found a short time later and stopped. He was arrested on suspicion of ABH and taken to the south London police station where he remains."
In 2008 Mr Galloway was pelted with a rubber stress ball as he was campaigning in an open-top bus in London. The firebrand politician received medical treatment but was not taken to hospital. A man was arrested and cautioned by police over the incident.
Reaction on Twitter to news of the beating was mixed:
— Asghar Bukhari (@AsgharBukhari) August 29, 2014
George Galloway 'Bruised' After Street Attack. Couldn't happen to a nicer man :) http://t.co/A0VbV9u98y
— la_crip (@la_crip) August 29, 2014
The man who has "punched" George Galloway - he's got my vote for SPOTY, every Nobel prize and a knighthood. Well played that man.
— Alex (@grampyrabbit) August 29, 2014
George Galloway got thumped. Not encouraging violence, but it couldn't have happened to a nicer chap!
— Ian Morris (@IanMorris80) August 29, 2014
@georgegalloway "In pretty bad shape" after attack in London. What price democracy and the freedom to denounce totalitarian States?
— max j freeman (@maxjfreeman) August 29, 2014
Galloway once claimed "homosexuals are not executed in Iran, just rapists".
Galloway settled out of court with the News of the World after being told he had been targeted by private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, as part of the wider phone hacking scandal.
Galloway was denied entry to Canada in 2009 on "security grounds" due to his work with Palestinian charities.
In 2003 a story in the Telegraph suggested Galloway had £375,000 per year from the proceeds of the Oil-for-Food Programme and had met with Iraqi intelligence agents. He denied the claims and later successfully sued the paper.
Last year Galloway suggested Julien Assange wasn't guilty of allegations of rape against him but had simply demonstrated "bad sexual etiquette".
Everyone loves a good egging.
We mock him, but you can't deny that the man can make a point
Galloway had a running feud with Christopher Hitchins. Here he is claiming "George Bush is pretending to be a Christian".
Wednesday's Oxford debate exit wasn't the first time he has spoken there. Here he is losing it last year.
He's also an MP in case you'd forgotten.