MP Mike Freer calls for BBC to exclude George Galloway from Question Time in Finchley and Golders Green
PUBLISHED: 13:05 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:17 04 February 2015
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer is leading calls for the BBC to exclude Respect Party leader George Galloway from an episode of Question Time filmed in the constituency.
Jewish groups are protesting against the appearance of the anti-Zionist on the panel in Finchley, to be broadcast tomorrow (Thursday).
Mr Freer and the Jewish Leadership Council have both written to the BBC urging the broadcaster to cancel his appearance.
Mr Galloway, MP for Bradford West, has previously stated that he will not debate with Israelis, and has strong views on the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel.
Mr Galloway is due to appear alongside Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan, Labour shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, Ukip deputy chairman Suzanne Evans and The Guardian executive editor and columnist Jonathan Freedland.
Mr Freer said: “Selecting George Galloway to be on the BBC Question Time panel in Finchley and Golders Green is insensitive and provocative.
“George Galloway has had numerous ‘run-ins’ with the UK Jewish Community, not least because of his refusal to share a platform with Israelis.”
Mr Galloway responded to Mr Freer’s statement, saying: “I regard his comments with contempt and and the depth of vote scrapping cynicism.
“They have offended thousands.”
The BBC defended Mr Galloway’s right to appear on the panel.
In a statement, a BBC spokeswoman said: “Question Time invites panellists who reflect a significant range of opinions on a number of different topics.
“Whilst Mr Galloway’s views are entirely his own, as an MP he has a right to appear on the programme and has done so previously.
“Subjects for discussion are chosen by our audience ahead of each show and this edition of Question Time will be no different.”