GEORGE Galloway has scooped £265,350 in outside earnings in the space of 18 months – the third highest tally of any MP.

The Bradford West MP almost trebles his parliamentary salary, mainly through regular broadcasts for TV stations in Iran, Russia and the Lebanon.

But the Respect MP mounted a strong defence of his extra earnings – revealed in the official Commons register – which, he insisted, involved “just a few hours’ work a week”.

A spokesman for Mr Galloway said he used the appearances to “challenge the iron-clad consensus on both foreign and domestic policy between the major British political parties”.

And he said: “This is a consensus very strongly opposed by the majority of his constituents.

“As Respect’s only MP, it is only by using all media possibilities that he and Respect are able to punch far above their weight.”

The spokesman added: “He would treat most seriously any suggestion that these commitments were at the expense of his work in parliament, or for his constituents.”

The latest MPs’ register of interests show Mr Galloway’s earnings, between April 2013 and September 2014, came from:

* Iranian state-owned Press TV weekly news show (£1,650 per hourly programme) - £100,650

* Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV (£3,000 per 90-minute programme) - £96,000

* Russia Today TV (£1,600 per two-hour programme) - £62,400

* Lecture tour in Australia (£2,700 per two-hour lecture) - £5,400

* Appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe (£450 for each) - £900

The MP’s spokesman added: “The programmes he makes for Al Mayadeen, Press TV and Russia Today enable him to reach a far greater audience than would otherwise be the case for his views.

“No-one from these TV stations determines editorial content, has ever asked him to raise questions he hasn’t raised - or not to raise questions he wants to raise - or to change views he has expressed on these programmes.”

Only former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown (£492,331) – whose earnings do not benefit him personally, but “support my ongoing involvement in public life” - and Conservative Geoffrey Cox (£368,322) made higher declarations.

In the register, Mr Galloway also declared:

* Directorship of Molucca Media Ltd, journalism and broadcasting – plus shareholdings

* Return flights London to Beirut (value approximately £600)

* Flight (value £3,900) to Australia and accommodation (£1,300)

* Holiday home in Portugal

* Weekly radio show for WBAI, in New York (unpaid)