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Galloway will fight General Election against Labour minister.

Left wing MP George Galloway announced yesterday he would stand against a Labour minister at the next General Election.

Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick faces a challenge from the maverick MP in his Poplar and Limehouse constituency in London's East End.

Mr Galloway, pictured, currently MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said he had resolved to quit the Commons until his recent suspension by Speaker Michael Martin.

Having pledged to serve only one term in Bethnal Green and Bow, he said he had now decided to contest the neighbouring seat of Poplar and Limehouse, where Mr Fitzpatrick has a majority of more than 7,000. Mr Galloway, who had been tipped to stand against Justice Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn, said he wanted to remain in the East End.

He criticised fellow-Scot Mr Fitzpatrick, a former trade and industry minister, for post office closures and the "shambles" of Heathrow Airport.

"It's going to be a battle of the Scots in the East End of London," he told his radio show on TalkSport.

"Me standing in the tradition of Keir Hardie, him standing in the tradition of Ramsay MacDonald, the betrayer of everything Labour stands for.

"It's going to be a very interesting contest."

A prominent critic of the war in Iraq, Mr Galloway was expelled from Labour in 2003 for bringing the party into disrepute.

Standing for the anti-war Respect Party in 2005, he won his seat in Bethnal Green and Bow from Labour MP Oona King.

Last month, he was suspended from the Commons for 18 days following an inquiry into his financial links to Saddam Hussein's Iraq regime.

"Having been suspended from the House of Commons by Mr Speaker Martin entirely unjustly and in an entirely unfair and unnecessary way, I have decided I definitely am going to stand again," he said.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 11, 2007
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