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Monty Panesar, the ex-England cricket sensation, has stepped down as a candidate for George Galloway's political party a mere eight days after his candidacy announcement.

The former spin bowler declared his intention to run for Member of Parliament in the west London constituency of Ealing Southall under the banner of the Workers Party of Britain, which is helmed by the polarising figure Mr Galloway. However, Panesar, who represented England from 2006 to 2013, expressed that he has come to the realisation that he requires additional time to "discover my political alignment."

"So, today I am withdrawing as a general election candidate for The Workers Party," he said. "I realise I need more time to listen, learn and find my political home, one that aligns with my personal and political values. 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."

In an interview, Panesar seemed uncertain about one of the Workers Party's commitments regarding withdrawal from the NATO military alliance. 

The 42-year-old proposed that NATO's involvement was intertwined with immigration policy and argued that British membership was complicating efforts to regulate its borders. "I think the reason our party is saying it is because we don't really have control on our borders," the Luton-born ex-cricketer told Times Radio.

Panesar has stepped down from Galloway's political party. GETTY IMAGES
Panesar has stepped down from Galloway's political party. GETTY IMAGES

"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."

When questioned about the nature of NATO, Panesar responded, "I don't have a deep understanding of NATO." He additionally stated that he would defer the matter of Gaza to Mr Galloway, following the Workers Party leader's re-entry into British politics in March, which came after a surprising triumph in the Rochdale by-election. Mr Galloway secured victory in the by-election by centring his campaign on the conflict in Gaza.

This development will come as a setback to Mr Galloway, as his emerging party aims to field candidates in 500 constituencies for the upcoming general election.