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The leader of the Respect Party George Galloway MP has thrown down the gauntlet to Hampstead and Kilburn MP hopefuls after announcing his party will be fielding a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary election.

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Denouncing Lib Dem candidate Maajid Nawaz as “rancid” and Labour hopeful Tulip Siddiq as a “New Labour apologist”, the outspoken MP for Bradford West revealed yesterday his party would be inviting applications from those interested in standing for his left-leaning party.

It comes not long after Mr Nawaz, a former Islamist who now runs a leading anti-extremist organisation, caused outrage among some sectors of the Muslim community after publishing online a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Mr Galloway MP was among those condemning him, saying: “No Muslim will ever vote for the Liberal Democrats anywhere ever unless they ditch the provocateur Maajid Nawaz.”

He later added: “Respect will take the Hampstead and Kilburn fight right to rancid Maajid Nawaz and the New Labour apologist for Awami League.”

The latter was a reference to Labour candidate Cllr Siddiq’s family ties with Bangladesh’s current ruling political party the Bangladesh Awami League.

The prospects of a Galloway-backed campaign could make the Hampstead and Kilburn 2015 election battle one of the most animated in the country, with the constituency already known as the most marginal seat in the country.

The last election saw the constituency’s current Labour MP, Glenda Jackson, win with a majority of just 42.

Also joining the race to become the area’s next MP is Conservative candidate Cllr Simon Marcus.

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