George Galloway has no intention of rejoining Labour – and claims any talk of a rapprochement is just Blairite spin.

Galloway's recent meeting with Miliband led to speculation that the Respect MP wanted to return to the Labour party, from which he was expelled in 2003 after criticising Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

Speaking exclusively to IBTimes UK, Galloway said he would not go into detail about his discussions with Miliband. "It was a private meeting," he said.

"I categorically say my return to the Labour party wasn't discussed. I have absolutely no desire to return to the Labour party."

Galloway claimed news of the meeting had been leaked by members of Labour's Blairite faction, and Tony Blair himself was in on the plot.

The avowed socialist said Miliband "represents a move back from the betrayers" - those who pushed Labour towards more central political ground in the mid-90s.

"The Blairites are trying to undermine him, including by leaking this story about the meeting with me. They're the real betrayers," he claimed.

"There's nothing discreditable in me meeting the leader of the opposition but the meeting is being used in a campaign by the Blairites to undermine Ed Miliband, including by Blair himself."

Ralph Miliband would have been appalled

While hailing Miliband's left-wing beliefs, Galloway asserted that the Labour leader's father Ralph, a prominent Marxist, would have been appalled by his son's words about Margaret Thatcher after her death.

Miliband described Thatcher as "a unique and towering figure" and compared the situation she faced on becoming prime minister in 1979 with the problems facing Britain today.

Galloway said he was "extremely disappointed" by Miliband's words. "His late father would have been aghast had he heard his own flesh and blood pouring honeyed words over a person, and ideology, his father so staunchly opposed."

Having vehemently criticised the cost of Thatcher's funeral, Galloway reiterated his opposition to it and suggested that the perceived excesses of the last fortnight would create problems when Tony Blair dies.

"It was an outrage - £10m for a partisan political exercise at a time when disabled people are being chipped out of their wheelchairs and driven to find non-existent work, when pensioners are shivering from a long and bitter winter and the country is on the verge of bankruptcy.

"Whoever is planning Tony Blair's funeral better prepare for a Thatcher backlash, times 10. The idea that you can pretend that someone half the country hates is basically a royal personage surely passed with the death of Thatcher.

"If they try to do the same with Tony Blair they really are asking for trouble."

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