Alex Salmond denies Kremlin influence in his RT show as he announces it will come off air during election

Alex Salmond has asserted his television show on the Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT is free of any editorial influence from the Kremlin as he announced its suspension during the election campaign.

His comments came as he launched a new pro-independence party, the Alba Party, in his return to frontline politics following his trial last year.

Mr Salmond was acquitted of sexual offences in a trial in Edinburgh last year.

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Alex Salmond said his RT television show would be suspended for the election campaign.Alex Salmond said his RT television show would be suspended for the election campaign.
Alex Salmond said his RT television show would be suspended for the election campaign.
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Announcing plans for the party to challenge the SNP and the Scottish Greens on the regional list for pro-independence voters, the former first minister said he hoped for a “substantial response” and an “influx of funds” in response to a question about who is funding the Alba Party.

Also asked about his controversial decision to present a television show on RT, formerly Russia Today, Mr Salmond challenged people to watch the show to see whether there was “any secret political agenda”.

Mr Salmond was criticised heavily for agreeing to present a show on the channel due to RT’s direct link to the Russian government, with the channel labelled a propaganda machine for Vladimir Putin’s regime.

In 2018, the broadcasters watchdog Ofcom ruled the Alex Salmond Show had “materially misled” audience members after Mr Salmond read out four tweets that he claimed had come from the audience when in fact they were posted by people working for the programme.

Responding to how he would defend his links to Russia, Mr Salmond said: “Obviously that show will be suspended for the course of the election campaign. I will be intending to be a candidate, that’s part of the election rules.

"That show is of course independently produced by Slainte Media. There is no editorial control from RT whatsoever and I think that show is justified on its merits.

"I don’t think anyone … could credibly accuse the programmes that we produce of having any secret agenda apart from exploring issues of the day in a fashion which I think gets across the issues and the people and stories behind issues.

"You can watch it for yourself and see if you can see any secret political agenda behind the programme yesterday and everything we have done has been independently produced and subject to the same regulations as television shows.”

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