Alex Salmond promises to respond to criticism on RT show

Alex Salmond will respond to calls for Russia Today to be banned from UK. Picture: Scott Louden
Alex Salmond will respond to calls for Russia Today to be banned from UK. Picture: Scott Louden
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Alex Salmond will respond to growing pressure over his work for state-funded broadcaster Russia Today (RT) during his weekly programme, as the broadcast regulator signalled that it was ready to ban the channel from the UK.

Mr Salmond said he would be “addressing the developing crisis” in the next edition of The Alex Salmond Show on Thursday.

The channel could be stripped of its license by then, with Ofcom warning that confirmation of an “unlawful use of force” on British soil by Russia would directly impact whether RT is judged to be “fit and proper” to hold a UK broadcast license.

The former First Minister was branded a “useful idiot” for Vladimir Putin’s government by Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton, who called on Mr Salmond to cancel his programme.

“Alex Salmond has claimed he has editorial control of his show. If that is true he should condemn these developments,” Mr Cole-Hamilton said.

“Salmond has played the useful (and well paid) idiot in RT’s veneer of respectability for long enough.”
In a statement, Ofcom said it had written to ANO TV Novosti, the Russian state-funded holder of RT’s UK broadcast licences.

“Should the UK investigating authorities determine that there was an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the UK, we would consider this relevant to our ongoing duty to be satisfied that RT is fit and proper,” the statement said.

Ofcom added that an “independent fit and proper assessment” would be carried out “on an expedited basis”.