October 24th, 2014

Belfast City Council taking legal advice on George Galloway visit

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell
George Galloway
George Galloway

Belfast City Council is to seek legal advice on a scheduled event featuring controversial politician George Galloway.

The MP for Bradford West has said he will not withdraw from the event after comments he made about Israelis earlier this month.

Galloway urged his constituents to declare Bradford an 'Israeli-free zone."

He said: "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 the 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."

Now a Belfast City Councillor,opposed to the event taking place on BCC premises, the DUP's Brian Kingston, has written to the BCC director of development following a recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Northern Ireland.

Last week we reported on how pensioner Sarah Clarke was punched in the street for wearing a Poppy.

Her attacker called her a "Jew-lover" and hurled other anti-Semitic abuse.

Kingston said: "I have written to Belfast City Council director of development expressing concern about a booking for George Galloway to speak at the Ulster Hall next week."

"We have asked for that booking to be reviewed, we think it is inappropriate at this time of tension in light of his highly controversial comments.

"He goes far beyond calling for a boycott, he is rejecting and demonising an entire country and its people."

Galloway has said he will not withdraw from the event on August 23.