Galloway aide admits TV fiasco
• Respect MP's constituents furious as Galloway deserts duties for TV show
• Galloway expected to earn between 60,000- 150,000 from TV appearance
"George takes advice, but he is not a man that you can tell what to do" - Ron McKay, George Galloway's press adviser
Story in full GEORGE Galloway's reputation sank even lower yesterday after his spokesman admitted that the Respect MP's appearance on Celebrity Big Brother had turned into a "worst-case scenario".
The maverick politician has attracted fierce criticism for choosing to go into the Big Brother house. His standing has suffered following days of controversial antics, which have seen the former Labour rebel impersonate a cat and dress up as a vampire.
In the latest episode last night, the arch-critic of the Iraq war was shown hiding in a giant cardboard box and apparently squabbling with the disgraced television entertainer Michael Barrymore over his cigars.
Meanwhile, the MP's east London constituents have lambasted him for deserting them and humiliating himself.
Yesterday his press adviser, Ron McKay, acknowledged that Mr Galloway's appearance on the Channel 4 TV show had badly backfired.
Meanwhile, it also emerged that a charity to which Mr Galloway has chosen to donate a six-figure sum from the show is at the centre of a diplomatic row between Britain, the US and Israel. Israel's ambassador to London will reportedly hold urgent talks with a Treasury minister this week to demand that action be taken against Interpal.
The US is also said to be putting pressure on ministers to blacklist the charity, which President George Bush has declared a terrorist organisation.
Interpal was established in 1994 and describes itself as "a non-political, non-profit-making British charity that focuses solely on the provision of relief and development aid to the poor and needy of Palestine".
Interpal has twice been the subject of investigations by the Charities Commission, but on each occasion it found no evidence of links to terrorism.
The charity will benefit from Mr Galloway's appearance fee and an estimated 100,000 from text-message voting.
It has been said that Mr Galloway will receive 60,000 for appearing on the show, although his closest aides have reportedly indicated he is actually being paid 150,000.
Following savage criticism for his appearance, with government chief whip Hilary Armstrong starting a petition to "get him back to work", Mr McKay revealed the MP would refund to taxpayers the amount of his parliamentary salary he has drawn during his stay in the house.
He said Mr Galloway seemed unhappy in the house and was "withdrawing into himself". Contestants were joined over the weekend by Sir Jimmy Savile on a mission to make some of their dreams come true. Mr Galloway asked to go to the Oscars.
Mr McKay said: "I knew the worst-case scenario would turn out to be something like this."
He added: "George takes advice, but he is not a man that you can tell what to do."
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