GEORGE Galloway has announced a plan to run a candidate in Huddersfield.
The Respect leader taunted Labour veteran Barry Sheerman as he revealed his intentions on Twitter yesterday.
The Huddersfield MP told the Examiner that Mr Galloway’s three failed marriages showed he was “a sad, lonely man.”
The Respect leader – who stunned Westminster by winning the Bradford West by-election in March – told his 80,000 Twitter followers that his party would contest Huddersfield.
He wrote: “Bad luck for Barry Sheerman (the little known MP); Respect is standing in Huddersfield!”
Mr Galloway’s parliamentary assistant Ron McKay told the Examiner that the party believed it could win the seat.
“We’re pretty confident that we can do exceedingly well in Huddersfield. I think we have a pretty good chance,” he said.
Mr McKay added that Respect plans to run candidates in several seats at the next general election, which is due to take place in 2015.
“There’s a plan to select a candidate in Huddersfield in the next few weeks as part of a policy to stand candidates across the North of England following George’s success in Bradford,” he said.
“We’ve chosen the seats where we think we have a good chance of taking the seat or at least performing very well.”
Mr McKay added that his party, which opposes the war in Afghanistan, was not concentrating on seats with a high proportion of Muslim voters.
“We think there are a number of seats that are winnable. They are not necessarily seats with large Muslim populations,” he said.
Mr McKay agreed that Mr Galloway was not on friendly terms with his former Labour colleague Mr Sheerman.
“There’s a personal animus between the two of them,” he said.
“I think there’s a personal element to it but it’s pointless standing if you don’t think there’s a chance of winning it.”
Mr Sheerman told the Examiner he was unconcerned about Respect’s plan to run a candidate in Huddersfield.
“It really doesn’t worry me too much at all,” he said.
“Any obscure party, whether from the left or the right, doesn’t get very far in Huddersfield.”
Mr Sheerman believes Respect is unlikely to repeat its by-election success.
“This isn’t Bradford West, we have a much more balanced population in Huddersfield,” he said.
“We have a much more intelligent electorate. People in Huddersfield are better informed and more integrated in British parliamentary democracy.”
Mr Sheerman and Mr Galloway were fellow members of the Parliamentary Labour Party from 1987 until 2003.
However, the Huddersfield MP said yesterday that he pitied the Respect leader, who married for the fourth time earlier this year.
“I feel sorry for him when I think about his failed relationships – as someone who is more blessed in that regard,” said Mr Sheerman.
“He’s a sad, lonely character who finds it difficult to build relationships with partners, political colleagues and parties.”
Mr Sheerman criticised Mr Galloway for his work ethic during Parliament.
“Since he was elected in Bradford West the Parliamentary Group for Yorkshire has had two events in Yorkshire and he hasn’t attended either of them,” he said.
“My record as one of the hardest working MPs would probably make George very nervous indeed.
“I’ve never believed him to have any other priority but himself.
“Working for Huddersfield has always been my priority.”