George Galloway is being probed over his incendiary comments against Israel. Photo: Getty
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George Galloway MP under investigation over anti-Israel remarks

The Respect MP is being investigated by the police for calling on Bradford to be “declared an Israel-free zone”.

The Respect MP for Bradford George Galloway is being investigated by the West Yorkshire Police after complaints about a speech he made in Leeds declaring his constituency "an Israel-free zone".

Police officers said that two complaints had been made about his speech, in which he called on the city to reject all Israeli goods, services, and even tourists:

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.

The BBC reports that a spokesperson for Galloway, Ron McKay, says Galloway doesn't regret the comments:

George stands by the comments - he thinks they are quite reasonable

The reason he made them is because there's mass carnage and mass slaughter going on against the people of Gaza.

Direct action helped in the struggle against apartheid.

Here he is making the remarks:

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.

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PMQs review: Theresa May shows how her confidence has grown

After her Brexit speech, the PM declared of Jeremy Corbyn: "I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue". 

The woman derided as “Theresa Maybe” believes she has neutralised that charge. Following her Brexit speech, Theresa May cut a far more confident figure at today's PMQs. Jeremy Corbyn inevitably devoted all six of his questions to Europe but failed to land a definitive blow.

He began by denouncing May for “sidelining parliament” at the very moment the UK was supposedly reclaiming sovereignty (though he yesterday praised her for guaranteeing MPs would get a vote). “It’s not so much the Iron Lady as the irony lady,” he quipped. But May, who has sometimes faltered against Corbyn, had a ready retort. The Labour leader, she noted, had denounced the government for planning to leave the single market while simultaneously seeking “access” to it. Yet “access”, she went on, was precisely what Corbyn had demanded (seemingly having confused it with full membership). "I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue,” she declared.

When Corbyn recalled May’s economic warnings during the referendum (“Does she now disagree with herself?”), the PM was able to reply: “I said if we voted to leave the EU the sky would not fall in and look at what has happened to our economic situation since we voted to leave the EU”.

Corbyn’s subsequent question on whether May would pay for single market access was less wounding than it might have been because she has consistently refused to rule out budget contributions (though yesterday emphasised that the days of “vast” payments were over).

When the Labour leader ended by rightly hailing the contribution immigrants made to public services (“The real pressure on public services comes from a government that slashed billions”), May took full opportunity of the chance to have the last word, launching a full-frontal attack on his leadership and a defence of hers. “There is indeed a difference - when I look at the issue of Brexit or any other issues like the NHS or social care, I consider the issue, I set out my plan and I stick to it. It's called leadership, he should try it some time.”

For May, life will soon get harder. Once Article 50 is triggered, it is the EU 27, not the UK, that will take back control (the withdrawal agreement must be approved by at least 72 per cent of member states). With MPs now guaranteed a vote on the final outcome, parliament will also reassert itself. But for now, May can reflect with satisfaction on her strengthened position.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.