Election 2015

Election 2015: Galloway urges Labour-SNP talks

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionGeorge Galloway: "You are probably talking to the man with the casting vote in the next Parliament, at least I hope so, and many other people will do too"

Ed Miliband risks "a huge betrayal" of the British people if he leaves out the SNP in any post-election negotiations, Respect's George Galloway has warned.

The ex-Labour MP claims he is "anti-SNP" but says it would be "foolish" to ignore legitimate parliamentarians "just because you don't like" them.

Mr Galloway, one of four Respect Party candidates, says he believes Mr Miliband will win the 7 May poll.

But Mr Miliband insists there will be no deals or coalition with the SNP.


Candidates standing in Bradford West:

UKIP Harry Boota

Respect George Galloway

Conservative George Grant

Liberal Democrat Alun Griffiths

Green Celia Hickson

English Democrats Therese Hirst

Independent James Kirkcaldy

Labour Naseem Shah


Mr Galloway, who labelled SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as "Mrs Thatcher in a kilt", told BBC Two's Daily Politics that while he holds "no brief for the SNP... we can't have legitimate members of the British Parliament being treated as second class or a kind of untouchable...

"It would be a huge betrayal of the Labour movement and of the British working people and the millions who are going to vote for him [Miliband] to allow David Cameron into Downing Street to continue his wrecking campaign, just because you don't like the Scottish National Party. That would absolutely self destructive and foolish."

He said he believed Mr Miliband's ethos was closer to what he described as the "real Labour" values of his Respect Party than Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, although he claimed more could be done on issues of war, peace and austerity.

Mr Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party in October 2003 in the wake of his outspoken comments on the Iraq war.

He subsequently became the figurehead for Respect, which stands for Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism. a party that emerged out of the Stop the War coalition in 2004.

He is standing for re-election in the Bradford West constituency, but has said he will fight to become London mayor if he loses his parliamentary seat.

Image copyright Getty Images

The best of BBC News' Election 2015 specials

More on this story