MPs must be seen to work harder and take fewer holidays, a Midland MP has warned.
David Winnick (Lab Walsall North) called for a cut in the 11-week summer "recess", when the House of Commons shuts down.
Most MPs say the break is an essential opportunity to speak to constituents.
But voters think their MP is simply enjoying a long holiday, Mr Winnick said.
Speaking in the Commons, he urged the Government to reduce the summer break by at least two weeks.
This year the Commons was closed for more than 11 weeks, from July 21 to October 10.
MPs used to return to Westminster for two weeks in September, but this has now been abolished. The Commons also closes for Easter and will close over Christmas, and there have been three extra breaks to coincide with school half term.
In total, the MPs have been away from Parliament for more than 19 weeks this year.
There are no rules to determine how much of this time is taken as holiday and how long is spent working in constituencies, and MPs do not have to report how much holiday they award themselves.
Even throughout the rest of the year, the Commons often ends its business for the week on Thursday, leaving Fridays free for constituency work.
Three years ago, MPs voted to abolish late-night sittings on Wednesdays and Thursdays, ensuring debates finished by 7.30pm except in extraordinary circumstances.
MPs have already decided to give themselves a long summer break next year, from July 25 to October 9 2006.
But Mr Winnick warned they were damaging their public image. He called for the Commons to meet in September, adding two weeks to the working year.
He said: "The word "recess" is wholly unknown to the general public. To them, we appear to be taking a ten or 11-week holiday."