David Cameron has accused George Galloway of supporting brutal Arab dictators.

The Prime Minister made the comments in the House of Commons yesterday 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 had claimed there was little difference between the “jihadist” fighters attempting to depose Mali’s government and the Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar Assad, whom he described as “equally blood-thirsty”.

In a question to Mr Cameron, 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: “Following Tuesday’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. Mr Cameron said: “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.”

Afterwards, Mr Galloway hit back, saying: “I asked a reasonable question and in response to a legitimate inquiry I received a sneering insult more fitted to the gutters of Eton than the Mother of all Parliaments.”

Mr Galloway said he did not support any Arab dictatorship and has written a letter to Mr Cameron saying: “I’m sure on reflection you will realise that your answer to me yesterday was beneath you and unbecoming for a British Prime Minister. I do not support any Arab dictatorship.

“I have spoken, written and broadcast against all Arab dictatorships, perhaps your staff, in preparing your reply, will provide you with the evidence of this.