Monty Panesar quits as George Galloway’s Workers Party candidate after just one week

Former England cricketer Monty Panesar has stood down as a candidate for George Galloway’s Workers Party of Great Britain after just one week.

Mr Panesar was to contest the Ealing, Southall seat in west London, currently held by Labour with a majority of 16,084.

But after a series of disastrous media interviews, he has said he will no longer contest the seat and instead will “take some time to mature and find my political feet”.

Monty Panesar said he was ‘still learning about how politics can help people’ (Getty Images)
Monty Panesar said he was ‘still learning about how politics can help people’ (Getty Images)

In a statement on X, Mr Panesar said: “I’m a proud Brit who has had the honour to represent my country at the highest level of cricket.

“I now want to do my bit to help others but I recognise I am at the beginning of my journey and still learning about how politics can help people.

“So today I am withdrawing as a General Election candidate for The Workers Party. I realise I need more time to listen, learn and find my political home, one that aligns with my personal and political values.”

It came days after Mr Panesar appeared to become confused about one of the Workers Party’s policy pledges, to leave the Nato military alliance, during an interview with Times Radio.

Mr Panesar wrongly suggested Nato’s role was related to immigration policy and that British membership was making it more difficult to control the border.

He said: “I think the reason they’re saying that, the reason our party is saying it is because we don’t really have control on our borders.

“We have illegal migration and then what ends up happening is some of these illegal migrants go into the poorer, more deprived areas, and then the resources get strained in [those] areas.

“And it affects, you know, the ordinary people, you know, our working people in this country. So it affects the poorest. And I think that’s one of the reasons, you know, our party wants to maybe, you know, have a debate about is it really necessary to be in Nato or not.”

His withdrawal as a candidate also comes days after Mr Galloway said he does not think gay relationships are equal to heterosexual ones.

In a clip from an interview with Novara Media, the Rochdale MP had said: “I don’t want my children prematurely sexualised at all, I don’t want them taught that some things are normal when their parents don’t believe that they’re normal.

“Now there’s lots of things not normal, doesn’t mean you have to hate something that isn’t normal. But if my children are taught that there’s – whatever the current vogue number is – 76 or 97 or whatever the number of purported genders that exist, I don’t want my children taught that.”

“I want them to be taught that there are gay people in the world and that they must be treated with respect and affection, as I treat my own gay friends and colleagues with respect and affection but I don’t want my children to be taught that these things are equal because I don’t believe them to be equal.”

Mr Panesar last week appeared alongside Workers Party of Britain leader Mr Galloway in Westminster, arguing for plans including a wealth tax and curbs on foreign ownership of sports teams.

George Galloway said he had 500 candidates already lined up to fight a general election (PA Wire)
George Galloway said he had 500 candidates already lined up to fight a general election (PA Wire)

Mr Galloway said he had 500 candidates already lined up to fight a general election and he wanted his party to put pressure on Labour in the same way Nigel Farage was able to target the Conservatives.

He also said he was in talks with three Labour MPs and one peer about defecting to his party.

Mr Galloway said “Monty, of course, was a great left arm spinner”, meaning he would be a valuable addition to the party.

Mr Galloway said his party was “quite confident that in the vast majority of seats in England – except those that we’ve decided not to stand in for political reasons – that we will be on the ballot”.

“And so people will not have to choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They’ll have a genuine choice. And we think that’s our duty to offer that.”

Mr Galloway was sensationally returned to parliament when he won the Rochdale by-election to replace the late Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd.

has previously represented seats in Glasgow, east London and Bradford in the Commons, for Labour and later the Respect Party.