George Galloway, Respect Party leader
Respect Party leader George Galloway speaks to IBTimes UK Getty

George Galloway no-showed the Mayor of London election declaration at City Hall, as the returning officer revealed he had come seventh in first preference votes behind Women's Equality Party hopeful Sophie Walker.

The result, amounting to just 1.4% of the vote, came after months of the Respect Party leader billing himself as an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, while Labour's Sadiq Khan kept his distance from the left-wing leader.

But Galloway takes pride in the more than 154,000 votes he attracted across both rounds of the 5 May election.

"That's not a small number of people, especially in the circumstances," he told IBTimes UK. "The circumstances were a complete blackout from virtually all hustings and radio and television debates. The only chance we had was off the top of a bus to show what we could do and what we wanted to do."

Galloway even claims it was the "biggest vote for a party to the left of Labour ever in the history of Britain", something Green candidate Sian Berry (618,991 votes) may have something to say about.

With Khan's convincing defeat of Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, the new Mayor of London resigned from the House of Commons.

The move triggered a 16 June by-election for his Tooting seat, but Galloway and his trademark fedora will not be on the ballot. The left-winger has ruled himself out of the race because the Conservatives have a chance of taking the south London constituency from Labour.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan has been tasked with defending the party's majority of just under 3,000 votes and will be up against local businessman Dan Watkins, the Tory hopeful who ran Khan close last May.

"The Labour majority in the seat only went up by 300 in 2015 in the general election, while Labour went up in the thousands in almost all other parliamentary constituencies in London. So it was just too big a risk to take," Galloway said.

"Labour have chosen a very competitive candidate, with the hospital and so on. On other hand, the Tory candidate, if it's the same one as last time, is reportedly quite a sharp blade and he's been working the constituency since the general election. On paper at least, it's a competitive election."

Media, movies and Brexit

George Galloway, Grassroots Out
George Galloway at Grassroots Out rally Getty

So what next for Galloway? The former Labour MP – he was expelled from the party in 2003 – made a name for himself opposing the Iraq War, joined the then-named Unity Coalition (now Respect) in 2004, won the Bethnal Green and Bow seat from Labour in 2005 and even appeared on Celebrity Big Brother the following year.

He lost the Bethnal Green seat at the 2010 general election, but returned to parliament two years later when he beat Labour in a 2012 by-election for the Bradford West constituency. Galloway lost to Labour candidate Naz Shah at the last general election, following a campaign which saw him accuse Shah of lying about her forced marriage.

Undoubtedly controversial, Galloway, unlike the vast majority of current MPs, is known beyond Westminster and his minor celebrity status has seen him appear on Kremlin-backed Russia Today and Iran's Press TV. The media career continues and he is soon to revive his old radio show on new station talkRADIO.

There is also a film in the works, The Killings of Tony Blair. The crowdfunded documentary raised more than £163,000 from thousands of backers on Kickstarter in 2013. Galloway expects to publish it around the release of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War, which has been scheduled for 6 July.

There is course the small matter of an EU referendum before we find out what is inside Chilcot's long-awaited investigation. The 23 June ballot has seen cross-party alliances formed on both the 'remain' and 'leave' sides, including Galloway's backing of the Grassroots Out (GO) group.

His surprise appearance at one of the campaign's rallies in Westminster prompted tens of pro-Brexit attendees to head for the doors of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. GO, which is backed by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, failed to win the Electoral Commission's lead 'leave' designation.

Vote Leave, ran by lobbyist Matthew Elliot and former Conservative special adviser Dominic Cummings, won the title of the official Brexit campaign and the £7m spending limit to go with it. The campaign has seen Boris Johnson go up against pro-EU Prime Minister David Cameron. Galloway branded the former Mayor of London's efforts as "dreadful".

"The whole debate is being treated like an internal debate within the Bullingdon Club and that's a pretty dismal way to determine our national future," he declared. "Frankly, the campaign leaves me pretty cold. So I'm making my own [Tony] Bennite arguments on social media."

With more than 250,000 followers on Twitter and over 460,000 likes on Facebook, Galloway's social media campaigning is nothing to scoff at. But will the "Voice of the Voiceless" – as he currently profiles himself on Twitter – run for election again? "We will see what happens, nobody ever knows what lies ahead politically but I have plenty to do," he said.