I was born in 1954, in the industrial Scottish city of Dundee, though in the Irish quarter, Lochee, known by all as Tipperary or just “Tipp”.

My father, the original George Galloway, was from a poor Scottish family of jute mill workers who had moved from the land where they were agricultural labourers at the turn of the 20th century.

My father’s grandmother, for reasons as yet unexplained, was probably the only woman in the 19th century to emigrate FROM New York TO Dundee…Perhaps she got on the wrong boat!

George Galloway Senior left school at 14, served his time as an electrician, became a factory worker on the assembly line at the National Cash Register company, working his way up to the title of electronic engineer. Made redundant in his 40s, he went to university as a mature student and became a schoolteacher! He was a lifelong member of the engineering union AEU – now a part of my own union Unite. He was an active member of the Labour Party and died just prior to Tony Blair’s victory in 1997.

My mother, Sheila O’Reilly, is of Irish background from the town of Granard. My Irish relatives, O’Reillys, Dougans, Floods and Feeneys, made sure there was nothing I didn’t know about the crimes of British imperialism.

My mother, now 82, also left school at 14, worked in Dundee’s then famous Hat Factory, in Lochee’s Fish Cannery and as a school and public library cleaner.

I have a younger sister, Colette, who works in a local university and a younger brother Graham who is a computer whizz kid.

I have four children and four grandchildren, Colette two children and one grandchild, and Graham has three children.

I am happily married to Dutch-Indonesian artist, anthropologist, TV presenter and film producer Putri Gayatri Pertiwi. We live in London with our toddler son Toren Mustaqim and baby daughter Órla Dhien.



Politics is something I engaged in very early on in my life. I joined the Labour Party aged just 13 and by the age of 26 I became the youngest ever Chairman of the Labour Party in Scotland. Aged 14 I attended the famous Grosvenor Square demonstration against the Vietnam war in 1968, was active against the Greek Military Junta whilst still a schoolboy, and adopted the cause of Chilean refugees who were exiled by the military dictatorship of General Pinochet.

I became an activist against Apartheid in South Africa (even travelling to the country at the behest of the ANC), and witnessed first-hand the atrocities and absurdities of racial segregation. I was awarded Pakistan’s two highest civil awards, for my work for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan and my work for the right of self-determination for Occupied Kashmir. In 1975 I became involved in the struggle for Palestine and her people.

In 1987 I defeated the former Chancellor and Home Secretary Roy Jenkins in Glasgow Hillhead constituency and became a member of Parliament at the age of 32. Other than a two-year break, I remained in Parliament until 2015 and have represented Glasgow, the East End of London and Bradford West.

My political teacher was Mr Benn – the best Prime Minister Britain never had – and my political career is defined by my activism for social justice, anti-imperialist campaigning, fight against poverty, my support for Irish Unity, my activism against racism and Apartheid, my debates in Parliament, my public speaking, my opposition to the Iraq war and of course my fight for justice for the Palestinian people. I have also fought against war all around the globe and will continue to do so.

I have taken on the US senate and won. Over the decades in Parliament I have served four constituencies in two countries and have won six elections. During this time no one ever came to me for help and was turned away. No one ever said I failed to press their case – win or lose. I opposed the war on Iraq without compromise and for that I was slandered, smeared and eventually expelled from the Labour Party, in which I had spent most of my life. However, my vindication came quicker than even I had imagined. No one now thinks the Iraq war was right. The Al Qaeda/ISIS mutation it has spawned is today rightly considered one of the world’s gravest dangers.