Galloway in Big Brother row

British parliamentarian George Galloway, who famously attacked the war in Iraq during a feisty performance in the US Senate, is at the centre of a new row.

    Galloway is a bitter critic of the war in Iraq

    The flamboyant politician is currently taking part in the reality television show "Celebrity Big Brother," for which he is locked in a camera-filled house with, among others, a glamour model, former basketball player Dennis Rodman, and a singer called Maggot.

    And some of his London constituents are not happy. One in particular has set up his own Web site, called "Why Isn't He At Work?" (, which he says has received over 25,000 hits since it was set up on Friday.

    "I just felt he was supposed to be representing us in the House of Commons (parliament) and not in the Big Brother house," the site designer, Paul Skinner, 40, said.

    "He is obviously publicising himself, not his constituents and their issues."

    Jim Fitzpatrick, a Member of Parliament in Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour party, accused Galloway of being a "C-list politician with an A-list ego" who had chosen a "celebrity graveyard" over his constituents.

    In his defence, the cigar-chomping Galloway and his Respect party said his time in the Big Brother house - where he cannot speak to anyone outside or hear any external news - will allow him to get his message across to a huge viewing public.

    "I will talk about war and peace, about (George) Bush and Blair, about the need for a world based on respect"

    George Galloway,
    British parliamentarian

    "I will talk about war and peace, about (George) Bush and Blair, about the need for a world based on respect," Galloway said in a statement on his Web site (

    "Some of it will get through."

    Political foes

    Respect party national secretary, John Rees, told Reuters the MP's detractors over Big Brother were "probably his political opponents" and did not reflect the feelings of his constituents.

    "When you're a single Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, you have to represent your constituents in a variety of ways, so George has to be our main media spokesman, our national representative, our international representative and a constituency MP."

    The flamboyant Galloway, 51, was expelled from the Labour party in 2003 over his outspoken opposition to the Iraq war.

    However, standing for Respect, he overturned a Labour majority of more than 10,000 to win the east London parliamentary seat of Bow and Bethnal Green in one of the most bitter campaigns of last May's national election.

    Last year, US congressional investigators said they had evidence that Galloway profited from the defunct UN oil-for-food programme.

    Incensed, Galloway flew to Washington and, in a memorable performance, harangued a Senate committee as he vehemently denied all the claims against him and attacked the US decision to invade Iraq.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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