George Galloway has been called a misogynist for saying a journalist, who wrote a stinging piece about him, looked like "Philip Seymour Hoffman in a wig".
The fiery ex-MP and London mayoral candidate was described as "not just small, but Hollywood tiny", "gnome-like" and saying his now-trademark fedora hat was "conveniently" covering his baldness, in a Sunday Times article by Camilla Long.
In response, Galloway said Long looked like the late, Oscar-winning actor and added it was "good to leave a journalist 'panting'."
Its good to leave a journalist "panting" even when they look like Philip Seymour Hoffman in a wig @camillalong— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) November 22, 2015
The panting refers to the article's first line, in which Long wrote: "Now that I am home and collapsed and no longer panting, I can safely say that nothing, not even a whole week’s spooning with Tom Cruise, could have prepared me for exactly how small George Galloway is."
The article also condemned Galloway's politics, calling him "Saddam-loving", the "worst politician in the world" and saying he "sweeps through the streets like an overdressed vampire, preying on the poor, the lonely, the angry and the alienated".
It also referred to a 1980s press conference, in which Galloway claimed to have had sex with people in Greece - the origin of the "Gorgeous George" moniker - and his infamous 2006 Celebrity Big Brother appearance in which he drank from a saucer of milk pretending to be a cat.
The 5ft 6in Galloway tried to defend his Hoffman insult, implying he was entitled to make personal attacks when Long did so her in her article.
Long retweeted the wig remarks and later called the 61-year-old a "charmer" for it, while others called him "vile", a "misogynist cockwomble" and a "ballbag".
@jennycolgan Thank you, he called me "Philip Seymour Hoffmann in a wig" in return. Charmer— Camilla Long (@camillalong) November 23, 2015
Guardian film critic Xan Brooks questioned why Galloway thought his comment was an insult.
Surely few things more lovely than Philip Seymour Hoffman in wig or without. https://t.co/rJuRWzCESV— Xan Brooks (@XanBrooks) November 22, 2015
Galloway is standing as the Respect candidate for the 2016 London mayoral race, though the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader has seem him seek re-entry to his old political party, from which he was expelled in 2003 for publicly saying the Iraq War was illegal.
In his interview with Long, Galloway said he had known Corbyn for 40 years and was demanding his expulsion be rescinded.