Hall Green MP Tahir Ali denies defection claim - 'a Labour government is our greatest hope'

Tahir Ali, MP for Birmingham Hall Green, denies 'defection' claim
Tahir Ali, MP for Birmingham Hall Green, denies 'defection' claim -Credit:Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live

Birmingham MP Tahir Ali has this morning unequivocally denied claims made in a radio broadcast that he is in talks to defect to the George Galloway-led Workers Party.

The MP for Hall Green claims the allegation, made by LBC's Henry Riley, is 'false' and that he has had no talks with Galloway or anyone else about a defection. "I unequivocally reject the claims made by LBC that I am in talks about defecting from the Labour Party.

"No such talks have ever taken place with any person or organisation, and I am proud to serve my constituency as a Labour MP," he said in a statement this morning (Tuesday April 30). "I will continue to work for a Labour victory at the next General Election.

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"I stand firm in the belief that a Labour government is the greatest hope for our country in reversing over a decade of Tory mismanagement and failure and delivering the leadership and change desired by millions of people across the UK. I ask that LBC withdraw the comments and issue an immediate apology for their false claims."

In the broadcast Mr Riley claimed Galloway was in talks with Ali, who was forced to apologise in January after accusing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister's Questions of having 'blood on his hands' over the Gaza crisis. He said his failure to demand an immediate ceasefire was costing innocent lives.

Two weeks ago he sat next to Galloway at PMQs, further fuelling suspicion of closer ties.

In an interview with LBC, Mr Galloway claimed several Labour MPs, a Labour Lord and 'at least a dozen' Labour councillors were on the verge of defecting to his party. He has not directly named those involved in the alleged talks with him but said he expects confirmation to emerge 'this week or next week'.

Galloway is leader of the Workers Party of Britain, backed by deputies Andy Hudd, a train driver and executive member of Aslef, Chris Williamson, former leader of Derby Council and ex-Labour MP for Derby North, and Peter Ford the former British diplomat who was Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain. The party wants 'an end to imperialist wars', the rebuilding of British industry in favour of workers not profits, free pre-school care, free healthcare with no waiting lists, high quality free social care and cheap or free public transport.

He has recently been in Birmingham campaigning alongside Aston lawyer Akhmed Yakoob, who is standing in the West Midlands Mayoral election. Voting is on Thursday. (May 2)

We have reached out to Mr Ali, who has not returned our calls or messages this morning. We have also contacted LBC.