Alex Salmond RT show found in breach of Ofcom rules

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Alex Salmond is facing fresh calls to quit his TV chat show on Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT after it was found to have “misled” viewers and breached UK broadcasting rules.

Regulator Ofcom investigated “audience tweets” in the former Scottish first minister’s debut show on RT, formerly Russia Today, which aired in November last year.

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond launched his current affairs programme in November last year

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond launched his current affairs programme in November last year

READ MORE: Timeline: The row over Alex Salmond’s Russia Today talk show

It found they were presented as having come from viewers but most came from production staff linked to the programme.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We found this programme broke our rules by misleading its audience. A series of messages were presented on-air as having come from viewers. In fact, most of them were from production staff linked to the programme.”

This is the first decision to be made into 11 investigations that were launched by Ofcom into RT.

The regulator is also investigating “the due impartiality of news and current affairs programmes on the RT news channel”.

A spokesman for Slainte Media, which makes The Alex Salmond Show , previously said in a statement that it had never contended that the tweets were from viewers since it was a pre-recorded show.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said: “Alex Salmond has spent an entire career pulling the wool over voters eyes with regard to independence, he has failed to do this with Ofcom.

“It’s time for him to bank the last of his Rubles, turn off the camera and enjoy his retirement.”

Tory Rachael Hamilton said: “The longer Mr Salmond continues to front this RT programme, the more damage he does to his legacy as First Minister.”

Four of the six tweets or emails featured in the November episode were sent by people connected either directly or indirectly to the production of The Alex Salmond Show or to Salmond in some way, Ofcom said.

They included the question “Why RT?”, tweeted by “a freelance make-up girl who had been involved in rehearsals for the show” and “What does Slainte mean?” (the name of Salmond’s production company), which came from a “freelance cameraman and an acquaintance of one of the producers’ technicians”.

This is the first decision to be made into 11 investigations that were launched by Ofcom into RT.

The regulator is also investigating “the due impartiality of news and current affairs programmes on the RT news channel”.