Prime Minister David Cameron has accused George Galloway of supporting brutal Arab dictators after the Respect MP for Bradford West claimed the UK should not be sending troops to Mali while at the same time supporting Syrian rebel forces trying to overthrow their country's government.

Mr Galloway claimed there was little difference between the "jihadist" fighters attempting to depose Mali's government and the Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad, which he described as "equally blood-thirsty".

In a question to Mr Cameron in the House of Commons, the controversial MP asked why he was prepared to send troops to Mali to fight the rebels, but then supporting the opponents of President Assad's regime.

He said today: "Following yesterday's announcement (to send troops to Mali), will you elaborate for the House the key differences between the hand-chopping, throat-cutting jihadists fighting the dictatorship in Mali that we are now to help to kill and the equally blood-thirsty jihadists that we are giving money, material, political and diplomatic support to in Syria?"

But Mr Cameron dismissed the point, claiming Mr Galloway supported the Assad dictatorship.

The Prime Minister replied: "Some things come and go but one thing is certain, wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator in the world, he will have your support."