Senior SNP MP Angus MacNeil vows to continue to appear on RT

A leading SNP MP has said he will continue to appear on RT despite his party's Westminster leader denouncing it as a '˜tool of the Russian state'.

Angus MacNeil has been a regular guest on Alex Salmond's RT show

Angus MacNeil, who has represented Na h-Eileanan an Iar since 2005, told BBC Scotland that the best way to counter propaganda was to give a “counter message”.

It follows a strong condemnation of the Russia Today news channel - which is funded by the Kremlin - from Ian Blackford.

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The SNP leader in the House of Commons called on Alex Salmond and his RT producer, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, SNP women and equalities officer, to “reflect and make their own judgment” on whether they wanted to continue working with the Kremlin-funded broadcaster.

He added: “I personally would not encourage people to go on RT,” he said. “I think it is a vehicle of the Russian state.”

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But Mr MacNeil, who has been a regular guest on Mr Salmond’s RT show, would not rule out further appearences.

“Many people have issues with the BBC, but I am talking to it right now,” he told the broadcaster.

When asked whether he would now stop appearing on RT, Mr MacNeil said: “No, I will talk to any media. Many people have issues with the BBC but I am talking to the BBC just now and I will talk to any media at all if it is there and possible.”

He added: “I think it is above my pay grade to go around and to be able to hold inquiries into every media channel.”

One of Mr MacNeil’s parliamentary colleagues, Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald, has faced criticism from some independence supporters online after questioning the decision by former Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan to host a show on the Russian-owned Sputnik radio station.