Rebel MP George Galloway was today accused of betraying his Muslim constituents for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother.
The Respect Party politician came under fire from a dozen local residents who staged a protest outside his office in East London.
They said he had abandoned his responsibilities in Bethnal Green and Bow and demanded he give back his MP’s pay for the time he is in the house.
A Muslim voter, who wanted to be known only as Ali, said Mr Galloway was setting a bad example to Muslim children.
The community worker, who lives off nearby Brick Lane, said: “I have spoken to a number of people at Friday prayers who voted for him who are very disappointed.
“They are disappointed that he’s gone on the TV with a Page 3 model and a Baywatch woman.
“What sign is that giving to the Muslim community? Children are tuning in. It’s not what the Muslim community wants from their MP.”
Michael Keith, leader of the Labour-led Tower Hamlets council, added: “We think the public should know that our MP is not here. He’s not doing his job in Parliament and he’s not doing his job in this community.”
The group held up banners with slogans including “Get back to work Galloway”, “Where’s our MP?” and “Give your MP’s salary back”.
They shouted “waste of space” and “where are you?”.
Sybil Yates, 74, who runs a pensioners’ group in Wapping, said: “I’m annoyed because we have got a despicable man for our MP.
“He should have gone with Ant and Dec to the jungle and stayed there.”
Mrs Yates, who said she did not vote for Mr Galloway in the election, added that she would never bother asking him for help in the community.
“There’s nothing positive about him at all, he’s a nothing to us. He’s done nothing and we are sick of him.”
Mr Galloway’s media agent, Wendy Bailey, said his presence in the house was a “terrific opportunity for politics”. He had been discussing low-pay issues and racism with other contestants, she added.
“These are all issues that affect people in his constituency. It’s an opportunity for all of these issues to be discussed at a wider level to a huge audience.
“I think he’s doing an amazing job at representing his constituents and politics in general. It’s a phenomenal opportunity.
“I think his critics are only disappointed that they did not think of it first.”
Earlier, Labour Minister for London Jim Fitzpatrick said he was not surprised by the MP taking part in the show “as Mr Galloway is a C-list politician with an A-list ego”.
“But while he has chosen to lock himself away in this celebrity graveyard, his constituents have yet again been left without help for their problems and without a voice in the Parliament.
“For an elected Parliamentarian, who is paid from the public’s purse, to shirk responsibility in this way is arrogant as it is exploitative.”