Galloway returns

Footage of the newly-elected Respect MP being sworn in at parliament.

After his landslide victory in last month's Bradford West by-election, here's footage of George Galloway being sworn in as an MP earlier today. His supporters were the Father of the House, Conservative MP Peter Tapsell, and Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe.

At 0:58 seconds, Galloway is seen to apologise for almost treading on Michael Gove's toes. With typical politeness, the Education Secretary, a self-described neoconservative and no friend of Galloway's, simply replies: "congratulations".

George Galloway in front of the Houses of Parliament prior to being sworn in as an MP. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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Gordon Brown contemplated making Alastair Campbell a minister

The move is revealed in Ed Balls' new book.

Gordon Brown contemplated making Alastair Campbell, a sports minister. Campbell had served as Tony Blair’s press chief from 1994 to 2003, Ed Balls has revealed.

Although the move fell through, Campbell would have been one of a number of high-profile ministerial appointments, usually through the Lords, made by Brown during his tenure at 10 Downing Street.

Other unusual appointments included the so-called “Goats” appointed in 2007, part of what Brown dubbed “the government of all the talents”, in which Ara Darzi, a respected surgeon, Mark Malloch-Brown, formerly a United Nations diplomat,  Alan West, a former admiral, Paul Myners, a  successful businessman, and Digby Jones, former director-general of the CBI, took ministerial posts and seats in the Lords. While Darzi, West and Myners were seen as successes on Whitehall, Jones quit the government after a year and became a vocal critic of both Brown’s successors as Labour leader, Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn.

The story is revealed in Ed Balls’ new book, Speaking Out, a record of his time as a backroom adviser and later Cabinet and shadow cabinet minister until the loss of his seat in May 2015. It is published 6 September.