ISLAMIC extremists issued a death threat against George Galloway, the former Glasgow MP, when they stormed a meeting of his anti-war Respect party in London’s East End.
Mr Galloway, who is in a bitter battle with the sitting Labour MP, Oona King, for the Bethnal Green and Bow seat, was left shaken after a group, believed to be linked to the disbanded al-Muhajiroun organisation, barged into the meeting at a tenants’ association on Tuesday.
Locking the door behind them, the mob denounced Mr Galloway - who was with his daughter - as a "false prophet" and declared that the sentence for this was "death".
Campaigning in the area has been volatile. In a separate incident over the weekend Ms King had her car tyres slashed and she was pelted with eggs. Yesterday police were called to stand guard outside a restaurant in which Ms King was holding a meeting.
Last night, a stormy hustings meeting at the People’s Palace, Queen Mary University of London, was attended by both Mr Galloway and Ms King and had a heavy police presence.
At it, Ms King called for a rapprochement to quell the "poisonous atmosphere" that had developed.
She told the meeting organised by Telco, an East London citizens’ organisation, that she had asked all four candidates to meet with the local police commander today. Mr Galloway expressed his "concern and sorrow" that Miss King had also been attacked.
The meeting was disturbed by shouts and scuffles as three young men clashed with police in the foyer outside the hall.
The same group which intimidated Mr Galloway were also believed to be behind the disruption at a Muslim Council of Britain press conference earlier on Tuesday which ended in violence.
In Tuesday’s incident involving Mr Galloway, the alarm was raised by his son-in-law, Jay Stewart, who had left the meeting at Withy House in east London shortly before the disturbance took place. Police had to help Mr Galloway and his daughter to his son-in-law’s car .
Ron McKay, Mr Galloway’s spokesman, said: "There was a skirmish outside with some of the local kids getting dragged in and blows were traded."
Mr Galloway was especially frightened for the safety of his daughter, Lucy, 23.
Yesterday, a 22-year-old man named as Shah Jalal Hussain was charged with possession of an offensive weapon. A 33-year-old man from Maidstone, Kent, received a caution for affray and a 35-year-old man from Forest Gate, east London, remained in custody.