UPDATED: Bradford landlord vows to run against George Galloway following bizarre Twitter spat

George Galloway
George Galloway
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A brewery boss said he may stand against parliamentary candidate George Galloway in a future election should the Respect party politician be re-elected to represent the Bradford West constituency this May.

The off-the-cuff remark by Bradford Brewery managing director Matthew Halliday, came after he was embroiled in a bitter Twitter spat with Mr Galloway this weekend.

It started when Bradford Brewery, a well-known brewery and bar and pie shop that opened in the city six weeks ago, tweeted to George Galloway’s account asking whether he was “still a thing” and asked why Mr Galloway was the only parliamentary candidate not to visit the them in the run up to the May 7 General Election.

The Bradford West Respect candidate appeared to suggest that he would be in touch about what he claimed were “a series of complaints about the brewery”.

He then added: “I shall return to this matter after the election. You have been most unwise,” he wrote.

There were also unsubstantiated reports that Galloway had reported them to West Yorkshire Police.

Matthew Halliday, MD at Bradford Brewery

Matthew Halliday, MD at Bradford Brewery

The exchange on Saturday follows a disastrous Twitter question and answer session in February for Mr Galloway which saw him call critics “unhinged”, “madmen” and “Tory scum”.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post yesterday, Mr Halliday explained: “I popped out to get a pint of milk to make coffees for my staff and we are a couple of minutes away from his office. I passed it and thought I’d not seen him for a while and so I sent a cheeky tweet asking is he was “still a thing?” I was just in a bit of a cheeky mood.

“I was a little bit surprised by his reaction. After a couple of tweets I thought this could get quite nasty, that’s when I got threats of getting the brewery shut down and that’s when the world jumped on it.”

The reaction by other Twitter users led to a #blockedbygeorgegalloway hashtag trending briefly.

Mr Halliday said: “It all went wild. The phone was ringing off the hook and I received lots of emails from around the world.”

One email came from a Twitter user in Toronto, Canada who had been following the tweets and said the brewery had the support of the whole of Toronto, Mr Halliday said.

“The most amazing tweets came from a Bradford guy who said he was climbing Kilimanjaro yesterday and he was glued to the conversation when he should have been sleeping because his body was in agony.

“He (Mr Galloway) has shown who he really is and if he is re-elected to Bradford West I may start my own Bradford Brewery Party and stand against him.”

He said Mr Galloway’s suggestion that there had been complaints about the brewery were “complete lies”.

A spokesman for Mr Galloway would not comment on details of the complaints and would only say: “It has certainly put Bradford Brewery on the map.”