Monty Panesar: Ex-England cricket star quits George Galloway's party after a week

Former England cricket star Monty Panesar has withdrawn as a candidate for George Galloway's political party just eight days after announcing he was standing.

The ex-spin bowler announced last week he would be standing to be an MP in the west London constituency of Ealing Southall for the Workers Party of Britain, led by controversial politician Mr Galloway.

But Panesar, who played for England between 2006 and 2013, said he has now realised he needs more time to "find my political home".

"I realise I need more time to listen, learn and find my political home, one that aligns with my personal and political values," the 42-year-old said.

"I wish The Workers Party all the best but look forward to taking some time to mature and find my political feet so I am well prepared to deliver my very best when I next run up to the political wicket."

During an interview, Panesar appeared to be confused about one of the Workers Party's pledges to leave the NATO military alliance.

He suggested NATO's role was related to immigration policy and British membership was making it harder to control its borders.

"I think the reason our party is saying it is because we don't really have control on our borders," he told Times Radio.

"We have illegal migration and then what ends up happening is some of these illegal migrants go into the poorer, deprived areas, and then the resources get strained. And it affects, you know, the ordinary people, our working people in this country.

"I think that's one of the reasons, you know, our party wants to maybe, you know, have a debate about is it really necessary to be in NATO or not."

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Asked what NATO is, Panesar replied: "I don't have a deep understanding of NATO."

He also said he would leave the issue of Gaza to Mr Galloway after the Workers Party leader re-entered British politics in March following a shock victory in the Rochdale by-election.

Mr Galloway won the by-election after focusing his campaign on the war in Gaza.