Government could pull the broadcasting licence for Russian channel RT by knocking it off air as it has been accused of being Vladimir Putin’s “personal propaganda tool” by Sir Keir Starmer.
The regulator Ofcom has been asked to conduct a review by the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries into the Russia Today news channel.
During Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that the new channel is to be reviewed.
The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also announced today that the Russian “propaganda” channel RT is now under review.
The Labour leader called the RT news channel Putin’s “personal propaganda tool” and the UK must do more to defeat the Russian President’s “campaign of lies and disinformation.”
Sir Keir told MPs in the Commons during PMQs, “Russia Today is his personal propaganda tool. I can see no reason why it should be allowed to continue to broadcast in this country, so will the Prime Minister now ask Ofcom to review its licence?”
Johnson replied, “I believe that my right honourable friend the secretary of state for culture, media and sport [Nadine Dorries] has already asked Ofcom to review that matter.
“But what I will say is that we live in a democracy and we live in a country that believes in free speech, and I think it’s important that we should leave it up to Ofcom rather than to politicians to decide which media organisations to ban.
“That’s what Russia does.”
However, former First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond who now is the head of the Alba Party is a leading presenter on Russia Today who Sir Keir has just called on the UK ban the new channel.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also spoken out and agrees that the TV channel RT should be banned from broadcasting Russian propaganda here in the UK as it has direct links to the Kremlin.