George Galloway, who claims Iran doesn’t execute gays, loses seat to Labour

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The Controversial Respect MP George Galloway has been defeated as an MP in Bradford West.

Mr Galloway, who is a controversial political figure on a number of issues including the Middle East, has lost his seat to Labour’s Naz Shah.

The battle in the seat has been dogged by controversy, with Mr Galloway accused of resorting to “dirty” tactics by questioning his opponent’s claim to have been forced into an arranged marriage at age 15.

He received just 8557 votes, down from 18,341 (55.9%) in 2012’s Bradford West by-election – below Ms Shah on 19,977.

Mr Galloway has previously insisted that homosexuals are not executed in Iran – which is one of the most homophobic countries in the world.

The politician insisted in 2008, after reports that an asylum seeker’s boyfriend had been executed: “All the papers seem to imply that you get executed in Iran for being gay. That’s not true.

“This is being used as part of the on-going propaganda against Iran.”

He claimed that executed gay men were actually killed for “committing sex crimes against young men”.

In 2006, when he was MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Mr Galloway told PinkNews he had an “absolutely impeccable record in parliament” on gay rights despite not being present for the vote on civil partnerships. He backed same-sex marriage in 2013.

The Iranian penal code lists sodomy as a crime for which both partners can be punished by death.

Because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is impossible to know how many people have been executed for same-sex conduct.

Two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were hung for homosexual acts in 2005, though the country claims they were actually guilty of rape.

PinkNews election coverage is generously supported by KPMG.

George Galloway, who claims Iran doesn’t execute gays, loses seat to Labour