British-Somali mother-of-two Amina Ali was chosen from an all-woman shortlist of three in a move which will annoy some party members who wanted to see a local candidate.
But Labour said Ms Ali, who is a councillor in Tower Hamlets, was the “overwhelming choice” of members at a hustings held at the Bradford Hotel on Saturday. If elected she will be the first ever MP of Somali heritage, a spokesman said. Ms Ali worked as a researcher and journalist for the BBC before embarking on her current career as a legal advisor.
Mr Galloway won Bradford West in a by-election for his Respect Party in 2012 when a huge swing from Labour left him with a majority of more than 10,000.
Ms Ali said: “I’m delighted to have been given the backing of Bradford West members and will give this campaign everything I have. People in Bradford West want change - they have been badly let down by a Tory-led government hitting Bradford disproportionately hard and an absentee MP in George Galloway.
“He promised the earth in 2012 and as the by-election result showed people put their faith in him, but none of what he promised has materialised, he has failed to work hard for local people and even admitted he prefers election campaigns to actually doing the job of representing the people of Bradford West.”
After the announcement, Mr Galloway tweeted: “In the light of today’s bizarre decision I call on #Bradford Labour members to join us either publicly or privately. We are the real Labour.”