Galloway's charity attacked by US

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The Independent Online

To round off a week in which he has been seen on national television dressed as Dracula and imitating a cat ­ pretending to lick cream from the hands of actress Rula Lenska ­ the charity to which he will donate his appearance fee has already been declared a "specially designated global terrorist" organisation by George Bush.

The US has also put pressure on ministers to blacklist the charity, Interpal, a British-based charity giving relief and development aid to Palestine, according to The Sunday Telegraph. Israel's ambassador to London is also reported to be holding talks with a Treasury minister this week to demand action against the charity.

Mr Galloway, who is donating the £60,000 fee and further proceeds from text voting to the charity, has been mauled by critics over the past few days for devoting his time to the surveillance show rather than his constituents.

But after avoiding an eviction vote on Friday night ­ model Jodie Marsh got the boot ­ he remains blissfully unaware of the stir his presence on the show has created. Kept incommunicado by the rules of the show, he is that rare thing: a politician who is provably not in touch with the real world.

His decision to enter the Big Brother house has gone down like a George Bush facemask in Baghdad among his east London constituents.

A Muslim restaurant owner in Brick Lane expressed concern that the MP was sharing living quarters with a glamour model and a former Baywatch star. The man, who did not want to be named, had voted for Mr Galloway. "Children are watching this. It is not proper behaviour," he said.

Sybil Yates, 74, a community campaigner from Wapping, said she was " disgusted" by her MP's antics. "I think it's a disgrace. He obviously does not care about us."

While Mr Galloway was purring like a cat for Ms Lenska, Mrs Yates was visiting her London Assembly member, John Biggs, who has set up an alternative "surgery" while Mr Galloway is absent.

"I have concerns about Crossrail," said Mrs Yates. "It could lead to Wapping station becoming much bigger and I am worried about the impact that will have."

A parliamentary debate on Crossrail ­ an ambitious scheme for a new west-east rail link across London ­ took place last week, while the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow was in the Big Brother house.

Members of his Respect coalition are critical, too. John Rees, a member of the Socialist Workers' Party and the national secretary of Respect, said: "Lots of people feel that it's not an appropriate way for an MP to spend their time.

Sir Jimmy Savileentered the house as a guest on Saturday. In keeping with his style, and the show's less than tasteful ways, he appeared in rose-tinted spectacles, red tracksuit and gold chain.

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