George Galloway to join panel at Edinburgh TV debate

LONDON - Respect Party leader George Galloway will be able to sling more mud at Prime Minister Tony Blair after it was revealed the controversial MP will be appearing at two major debates at the Edinburgh International TV Festival.

The festival audience will get the chance to pose questions to Galloway, author Salman Rushdie, shadow secretary Theresa May, and former BBC director general Greg Dyke during the special 'Question Time' news and current affairs debate.

Galloway will also appear on 'In Bed with Tony and Gordon', a session chaired by Adrian Chiles, which aims to discuss to what extent TV has the power to change social policy.

Galloway, whose attendance was confirmed today, said: "The electronic media has always been in bed with the government of the day.

"But since the illegal invasion of Iraq and the death of Dr David Kelly, television has pulled the blankets over its head to deliberately exclude voices and views which might sunder the cosy arrangement."

Last week, Galloway was accused of putting the lives of British troops at risk after he described Iraqi insurgents as "martyrs".

He made the comments on satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, attacking Blair and George Bush as "terrorists" and saying the militants were defending the whole of the Arab world.

He dismissed criticism that he had put the lives of British troops at risk and in an interview on Syrian TV he went further still saying that: "Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners -- Jerusalem and Baghdad. The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will."

Galloway's was a surprise victory in Bethnal Green & Bow election in May this year where he beat the sitting Labour candidate Oona King.

His controversial views have recently landed him in hot water with Parliament. He said on the day of the July 7 bombings that the capital had "paid the price" of war in Iraq.

The Edinburgh International TV Festival takes place from August 26-28.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.

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