Two prominent Respect candidates for the local elections in Tower Hamlets have defected to the Lib Dems — former vice-chair Dr Shamsuddin Ahmed and Ahmed Mustaque.
In resigning they publicly condemned George Galloway as a “clown” and “two faced” and also the SWP. Mr Mustaque wrote: “Many people like me are disillusioned by Respect and people in it.”
One of the triggers has been the forthcoming council election. Respect are standing 47 candidates for the 51 council seats, but this now doesn’t include Galloway. He originally threatened to stand against New Labour council leader Michael Keith. Galloway has instead opted for a “presidential” role in the campaign.
SWP generalissimo, John Rees, is standing, although he doesn’t live in Tower Hamlets. That has caused resentment.
Neither of the ex-Respect members got the seats they wanted. They give this as one reason for jumping ship. It’s grubby bourgeois politics where people come and go according to those who can offer the most.