George Galloway stands accused of profiting from the pain of Gaza – and rightly so. But he is not the only one | Jonathan Freedland

The new Rochdale MP is hardly unique. He is just highly adept at swimming in the toxic swamp that is so much of our politics

You’re going to hear a lot of talk about George Galloway in the coming days, much of it negative and almost all of it true. But there will be one charge thrown at the new member for Rochdale – winner of a byelection victory yesterday as sweeping as the triumph he recorded in Bradford West more than a decade ago – that will be false and unfair.

Start with the accusations that stand up. Galloway poses as a man of the left – his latest vehicle is called the Workers party of Britain. But he backed Nigel Farage’s Brexit party (now Reform) in 2019 – the pair had appeared together, during the 2016 referendum campaign, laughing and smiling – and the Conservatives in Scotland in 2021 . You did not misread that sentence: George Galloway voted Tory only three years ago.

Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian columnist

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