George Galloway
George Galloway has previously been investigated by police over his comments on IsraelReuters

George Galloway said he will not support the motion to recognise Palestine as a state as doing so would "accept" Israel as one.

The Respect MP for Bradford West said he will not be taking part in the House of Commons vote asking whether the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel despite other MP's "good intentions" in asking him to support it.

The issue due to be debated in parliament later was put forward by Grahame Morris, the Labour MP for Easington, who said the international community has "cruelly refused" the Palestinian people the right to be recognised as a state.

However, if the motion is passed it will only be symbolic and will not change the government's official position to support talks for a two-state solution.

Britain's current stance on Palestine is that it reserves the right to recognise it as a state "bilaterally at a moment of our choosing and when it can best help bring about peace", according to former foreign secretary, William Hague.

Galloway has confirmed he will be abstaining from the vote as he does not support the notion of Israel being recognised as a state.

He said: "As many probably know the Palestinian cause has been central to my political activity for the last 40 years. I appreciate the good intentions many have in urging me to support this motion.

"However, unfortunately I cannot support this motion as it accepts recognition of the state of Israel, does not define borders of either state or address the central question of the right of return of the millions of Palestinians who have been forced to live outside Palestine."

He added: "I continue to support the only realistic solution, one democratic and secular state, called Israel-Palestine or Palestine-Israel. The proposed two-state solution is to all intents and purposes dead and is only used in order to provide Israel further breathing space to consolidate the illegal settlements and expand its land grab further.

"For these reasons, I am afraid I cannot support this motion and will abstain."

The outspoken MP was previously investigated by police over comments he made declaring Bradford an "Israel-free zone".

Speaking at a Respect party meeting in Leeds, he said: "We don't want any Israeli goods. We don't want any Israeli services. We don't want any Israeli academics, coming to the university or the college.

"We don't even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford if any of them had thought of doing so.

"We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same."

Galloway also walked out of a talk at the Oxford Union after he found out one of the students he was debating with was an Israeli.

"I don't debate with racists and I don't recognise Israel", he said.