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Yacoob and Hudson resign over Galloway remarks

Two leading members of the Respect party have stood down from high-profile positions in the party over remarks on the nature of rape by Respect MP George Galloway.

On 11 September, leading Muslim anti-war activist Salma Yaqoob announced her resignation from the left-wing Respect party which she had helped to found, and of which she was the leader. Yaqoob made it clear that ‘necessary relations of trust and collaborative working’ had broken down over remarks made by Respect MP George Galloway in relation to the rape allegations against Wikileaks leader Julian Assange.

On 4 September, CND general secretary Kate Hudson had stood down as a Respect candidate in Manchester. She said: ‘I cannot in all conscience, stand as candidate for a party whose only MP has made unacceptable and un-retracted statements about the nature of rape.’

Galloway had said, in a video podcast in mid-August, that Julian Assange’s sexual behaviour was ‘sordid’ and ‘disgusting’, but having sex with a sleeping woman amounted to no more than ‘bad sexual etiquette’. The Bradford West MP said that ‘not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion’.

Yaqoob responded at the time: ‘Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex. George Galloway’s comments on what constitutes rape are deeply disappointing and wrong.’

While Galloway has issued a ‘clarification’, he has stood by his remarks on the nature of rape.

Topics: Feminism | Activism