George Galloway defended his decision to appear on Celebrity Big Brother as he made a defiant exit from the house.
The Respect MP was met with boos and cheers from the crowd outside the house as he left last night after attracting 64.7% of the public vote.
During his post-eviction interview, Galloway, 51, told presenter Davina McCall he was disappointed to have been voted out of the house.
“I do not normally lose elections and this was a big one,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference after the evictions, Mr Galloway spoke of his delight at learning The Daily Telegraph had lost its appeal against libel damages.
He said: “I was delighted to learn that The Daily Telegraph had lost the latest in a line of appeals.
“I thought momentarily that they would have to pay me the very large amount in damages that they were ordered to by the court today, but that must now await their attempt to appeal to the House of Lords. But hey, it’s money in the bank.”
Asked about the news that he could face investigation as part of a Serious Fraud Office inquiry into the Iraq oil-for-food corruption scandal, he said he had “said all I’ve got to say on that in the past”.
He went on: “There have been all sort of allegations in relation to the oil-for-food programme. All of them are false.
“If anybody wants to talk to me about them I will of course be delighted to do so.
“The bottom line is nobody ever gave me any money for my work in Iraq except the newspapers that foolishly alleged that someone else had done so.
“Now those newspapers have had to pay out millions of pounds of damages and costs.”
He was also asked whether he felt spending time inside the Big Brother house was more important than his parliamentary duties.
He replied: “I represent a different kind of politics. I don’t believe that talking to parliamentarians, the current crop of parliamentarians, is very important.
“That’s why I spent most of my time on the road in Britain, going to and coming back from public meetings.
“Our task is to take politics to the people. That’s what I do for a living, and that’s what I will continue to do.
“I could travel to 500 painters’ union halls and speak to a really good audience of 500, or I could take the chance of speaking to millions of people every day through the Big Brother house.”
The anti-war MP, who represents Bethnal Green and Bow constituency, was a controversial figure in the house during his 21-day stay.
His appearance on the show attracted criticism from his constituents and fellow MPs.
The MP’s antics in the house have included impersonating a cat lapping imaginary milk from the hands of actress Rula Lenska and dancing in a tight red leotard.
The MP said he thought his defining moment in the house had been when he won a food budget of £140 (€204) by appearing on Richard and Judy’s teatime show.
But he was told by Davina that the public would probably disagree – before being shown footage of his bizarre cat impersonation.
He said of his enthusiastic completion of the task: “I decided if a job is worth doing it’s worth doing well so I threw myself into all the tasks.”
Galloway said he had discovered it was impossible to live in harmony in the Big Brother house.
“It’s unbelievably boring and turgid through long hours of days and nights with the same people who you have little in common with, cut off from things you are familiar with and the people you love. It’s very difficult to keep things on an even keel.”
Asked what he had learnt about himself, Galloway replied: “I thought I could get on with almost anybody, Tony Blair excepted, but I certainly couldn’t.
“I thought I could bring people together in a common cause and I failed.
“I thought I could live without news and I could not.
“I also learned some other personal things which I am not going to talk about on TV.”
American ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman was the second Big Brother housemate to be evicted last night.
In his post-eviction interview, Rodman, who received 23.5% of the viewers’ votes, said he was not upset to have been evicted.
“It’s all about TV. It’s a game. It’s a show. Just because I’m evicted from the house I’m still a star. I’m still famous,” he said.