SNP MP condemns Alex Salmond over Russia Today programme

Alex Salmond continues to host a programme on Russia Today
Alex Salmond continues to host a programme on Russia Today
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The SNP’s defence spokesman has condemned Alex Salmond for appearing on Russian Today (RT), claiming the former nationalist leader should be ashamed to be paid by the Kremlin-backed state broadcaster while Russia wages war in eastern Ukraine.

In a debate at Westminster on the conflict in Ukraine, Stewart McDonald said calls for peace from MPs would “mean absolutely nothing” if they continued to take money from RT.

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Mr Salmond has produced a programme for the Russian broadcaster since late 2017, despite pressure from within the SNP and from other parties.

The former First Minister is no longer a member of the SNP, pending a criminal trial over allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape, which he denies.

In the Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday, Mr McDonald said separatist forces involved in the four year-old conflict in Ukraine were “Russian led terrorists”.

The SNP MP said showing support for Ukraine “includes not appearing on channels such as Russia Today and Sputnik”.

“There are members who have spoken in this debate… who do exactly that, they are part of the problem,” Mr McDonald continued.

“There are members of my party - one quite high profile former member of my own party who even has his own television show on Russia Today - for shame that they continue to appear.

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“For shame that there are members of this House who not only appear, but take money for appearing. There are former ministers of the current government who appear on RT.

“It must stop. Otherwise all of the poetic speeches given mean absolutely nothing.”