Scottish Parliament Election 2021: All For Unity’s George Galloway defends ties to Russia Today in heated BBC Scotland interview

George Galloway has insisted that he “speaks for himself”, after his ties to the Kremlin-owned news network Russia Today (RT) were challenged during a BBC interview.

RT has repeatedly breached UK impartiality rules according to media regulator Ofcom, which has accused the network of broadcasting "materially misleading" content on a number of occasions.

Mr Galloway, who is standing as a list candidate for the All For Unity party, presents a show called Sputnik on RT, and writes regular columns for the organisation’s website.

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But in a heated exchange on Friday’s Good Morning Scotland programme, the 66-year-old said his work for RT had “nothing whatsoever to do with the Holyrood elections on May 6.”

Earlier this week former First Minister Alex Salmond was also challenged on his ties to the network during an appearance on GMS.

The Alba Party leader denied that the Russian Government interfered with the editorial line of the Alex Salmond Show, which is broadcast on RT, telling interviewer Gary Robertson: “the programme stands on its own merits.”

Mr Salmond also said Russia “certainly” did not meddle in the independence vote seven years ago, calling the idea “laughable” - despite a report published by UK intelligence officials in 2020 concluding that it had.

Asked the same question, Mr Galloway did not give a direct answer, saying instead: “Well it's very odd that the thesis is that the Russians want to break up Britain, and they want to encourage separatism, when they employ me.”

George Galloway has insisted that he “speaks for himself”, after his ties to the Kremlin-owned news network Russia Today (RT) were challenged during a BBC interview.
George Galloway has insisted that he “speaks for himself”, after his ties to the Kremlin-owned news network Russia Today (RT) were challenged during a BBC interview.

He described himself as “one of the main hammers of nationalism and separatism,” and added: “it's a very odd charge unless the allegation is that Putin is so canny gambler [that] he's got money on both Alex Salmond and me - he's betting on both separatism and unionism. It’s all very silly.”

He added: “I can assure you I speak for myself.”

Mr Galloway went on to say he would present a programme on the BBC - which he described as the “British state-backed broadcaster” if the corporation “promised not to politically interfere with my output.”

He insisted: “I have never been interfered with by the Russians - I'm not sure that that can be safely said about people presenting programmes on the BBC.”

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