Let's get the claims right, first of all. The story goes roughly as follows: The 69-year old Les Dobrovolski was approached in Poplar by Respect members canvassing for George Galloway last Thursday, 21st April. When he refused to accept a leaflet and said he would never vote for George Galloway, he was followed by the group, who then attacked him near Spitalfields market. They pushed him to the floor, and one man stamped on the pensioner's hand before dropping a leaflet on him as he lay in agony - a trophy gesture. He was then taken by ambulance to the local hospital where he was x-rayed and given stitches. Harry's Place follows up with the sentence: "The police were informed of the attack and are currently investigating." Then a few pieties from Oona King.
On Thursday 21st April, Les Dobrovolski told the police that he had been attacked, but there was no mention of him having been assaulted by Respect supporters or of any leaflet. The first time such a claim appeared anywhere was in the Labour Party's press-release. The police have confirmed, categorically, that no such claims were made to the police when Mr Dobrovolski was interviewed, and that they are not investigating the Respect party in connection with this. They issued it as a general statement to the press, which is why most papers did not touch it.
The claim that Mr Dobrovolski encountered Respect supporters canvassing for George Galloway in Poplar is highly improbable, to say the least, since Poplar is not in the constituency being contested by George Galloway. There were no canvassers out there. The leaflet that was allegedly dropped on Mr Dobrovolski following the attack was still in the printers on the day of the attack, and was sent out as a postal drop - ie, sent by the printers directly to Royal Mail, and not to Respect leaders or canvassers. The earliest the leaflet could have been sent out was on Saturday's post.
Oona King has a record of smearing her opponents , even repeating a libel after she had been obliged to pay an out-of-court settlement. She smeared Respect previously by claiming that Respect canvassers were advising voters not to elect Oona King again on account of her Jewish background - unaware, obviously, that Respect had not even begun campaigning in the constituency yet. Her campaign has also involved the suggestion that George Galloway is just like Oswald Mosley, despite the fact that it is her campaign leaflets, directed at 'white' areas, which say: "The Scottish MP George Galloway is stirring things up, especially in the Bengali community. He is a threat to us all." [Emphasis added]. The tactics used by Labour in Bethnal Green & Bow are becoming dirtier and dirtier. They bear the signature of despair and are the hallmark of a party without any principle, and a campaign without any appeal.
Vote Respect .