Peterborough by-election: George Galloway withdraws from contest after missing out on Brexit Party nomination
George Galloway has announced he is withdrawing as a candidate in the Peterborough by-election.
The outspoken former Labour and Respect MP revealed last Wednesday he was standing in the contest after a Recall Petition to oust Fiona Onasanya from Parliament was successful.
However, Mr Galloway this evening confirmed he was pulling out of the race after missing out on the Brexit Party nomination which has gone to Secret Millionaire Mike Greene.
Mr Galloway tweeted: “I tried to persuade @Nigel_Farage to support my candidacy in #Peterborough to emphasise the broad democratic alliance the campaign must be and balance the candidatures of Ms Widdecombe and Ms Rees-Mogg. Now that the #Brexit Party have named their candidate I have withdrawn my own.”
Mr Galloway had never confirmed if he was standing as an independent or with a party, although he had been rumoured to be seeking the Brexit Party nomination.
Annunziata Rees-Mogg, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate who is standing for the Brexit Party in the upcoming European elections, denied rumours earlier this week she wanted to be her new party’s candidate in Peterborough.
Ms Widdecombe, a former Tory MP who is also standing to be a Brexit Party MEP, had joined party leader Nigel Farage at a Brexit Party rally on Tuesday at the KingsGate Conference Centre in Peterborough.
Mr Greene’s candidacy was confirmed earlier this evening.
The Brexit Party is contesting its first ever parliamentary election but is currently the 10/11 odds on favourite to win according to Ladbrokes, just ahead of Labour which is evens.
The Conservatives have slipped to 16-1 in a seat it lost by just 607 votes in 2017, having previously held it for 12 years, although there are still four weeks left until voters go to the polls on June 6.
The Recall Petition for Ms Onasanya was triggered by a three month prison sentence she received for perverting the course of justice which she failed to overturn on appeal.
It needed 10 per cent of her constituents to sign it for her to become the first MP to lose her seat from a Recall Petition, and in the end more than 27 per cent (19,261) signed it.