Former Lib Dem candidate joins Galloway campaign
Qassim Afzal – who was Liberal Democrat candidate for Manchester Gorton in 2005 and 2010, and a member of the party’s federal executive – has quit and endorsed George Galloway, the former MP and independent candidate for the Manchester Gorton by-election on May 4th.
Mr Afzal is a wealthy businessman who had been hoping to become Lib Dem candidate for the by-election, and some of his former colleagues are suggesting sour grapes after the party opted instead for ex-councillor Jackie Pearcey.
Reports on the ground in Manchester indicate that the Lib Dems are attracting significant support from white voters in Gorton, but have effectively given up on the Asian vote after Labour selected Afzal Khan, boss of the local Pakistani electoral machine. It is interesting that not a single Asian name appears on Ms Pearcey’s nomination papers: something to which a professional political party like the Lib Dems gives careful thought.
Labour is almost certain to win the by-election on May 4th, but there could now be a close battle for second place between Galloway and the Lib Dems.