Nicola Sturgeon ‘appalled’ by Alex Salmond’s continued involvement with Russia Today as UK government commissions Ofcom review

Russia Today, the network Alex Salmond appears on now faces Ofcom scrutiny

This was stated by the First Minister on Wednesday at Bute House during a meeting with Acting Consul General of Ukraine Yevhen Mankovsky and Chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain Linda Ellison.

It comes as Boris Johnson confirmed during a PMQ that the culture secretary had written a letter to the television regulator.

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Asked if she agreed with calls to ban RT in the UK, she replied: “Yes, I agree.

“It’s an Ofcom thing, but I do think there’s a very serious question right now about whether RT should still have a license to broadcast here in Scotland.

And I certainly urge Ofcom to take this very, very seriously.

“I am overwhelmed by Alex Salmond’s continued collaboration with RT.

“I don’t think it’s any secret now that I didn’t think he should ever have a TV show on RT.

“But it’s even more unthinkable now that this should continue.”

Ms. Sturgeon went on to say that elected officials should not appear on television.

“I don’t think any elected representative should be thinking about appearing on RT right now, I will pass on this message – have already delivered this message – to the elected officials here in the Scottish Parliament, I know Ian Blackford did it in Westminster” .

In the Commons, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer called for a ban.

He said: “We also need to do more to defeat Putin’s campaign of lies and disinformation.

“Russia Today is his personal propaganda tool. I see no reason why he should be allowed to continue broadcasting in this country, so the Prime Minister will now ask Ofcom to revise his license?”

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Mr. Johnson replied: “I believe my honorable friend, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports (Nadine Dorries) has already asked Ofcom to look into this matter, but I will say that we live in a democracy and we live in a country who believes in free speech, and I think it’s important that we leave Ofcom and not politicians to decide which media organizations to ban.

“That’s what Russia is doing.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford called on the Conservative Party to return £2.3m “collected from Russian oligarchs”.

He told the House of Commons: “The truth is that Russian oligarchs who give the right people in power the golden handshake have been welcomed in London for years. Their activity did not stop, they were encouraged.

“It just so happens that a lot of those golden handshakes have found their way into the Tory coffers, actually £2.3 million since the prime minister took office.”

He added: “How can our allies trust this prime minister to launder dirty Russian money in the UK when he doesn’t even want to launder his own political party. Will he finally decide to give up the £2.3 million his party has received from the Russian oligarchs?

The prime minister said: “We are not collecting money from Russian oligarchs… we are collecting money from people who are registered to vote on the UK interest register.”

He said Mr Blackford’s “outrage” “comes a little more from someone whose very own Alex Salmond is, to my knowledge, the host of Russia Today, which the leader of the opposition has just urged this country to ban.” .

Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone was cheered by Conservative MPs as he also challenged the government over Mr Salmond.

He said, “Mr Speaker, let’s get this clear. Isn’t it a shame that the Privy Councilor, Queen’s Counsel and former First Minister of Scotland finds it necessary to broadcast his half-baked views of the world on Russian television week after week?

The Prime Minister replied: “Mr. Speaker, that was a brilliant, powerful question, which I think the entire House approved.

“Wouldn’t it be more powerful if it came from the leader of the Scottish National Party?”

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