On Putin’s Platform: Top Labour Figures on Russia Today 40 Times in Two Years

Top Labour figures appeared on Russia’s state-owned pro-Putin channel Russia Today more than forty times in the past two years, a Guido investigation reveals. The extent to which the Kremlin-controlled network is offering a free platform to Corbynistas is exposed today after Shadow Cabinet members were found to have appeared twenty-two times on the station since August 2015. Specifically:

  • Richard Burgon appeared nine times;
  • Barry Gardiner appeared three times;
  • John McDonnell appeared twice;
  • Backbenchers going on include new entrants to parliament Emma Dent Coad and Laura Pidcock.

Russia Today, now branded RT, has been investigated by broadcast regulator Ofcom on at least fourteen occasions since it began operating in the UK in 2005. RT has had more Ofcom rulings against it than any other news network…

During the 2014 Ukraine conflict, RT broadcast a programme accusing the Ukrainian government of genocide. During the Syria conflict, a programme called The Truthseeker: Media ‘Staged’ Syria Chem Attack accused the BBC of fabricating a chemical weapons attack in Syria. Both prompted Ofcom sanctions…

That year an RT journalist quit live on air saying the network had “whitewashed the actions of Putin” and that she had been asked by editors to “promote Russian foreign policy.” In October 2016 the channel’s Editor-in-Chief claimed that its UK NatWest bank accounts had been shut down. A Times investigation this year found that claim was false…

In March RT executives flew from Moscow to London at Ofcom’s behest to discuss their repeated failures to meet impartiality standards. The summons was triggered by a panel ‘discussion’ programme on NATO during which every member of the panel spoke against the alliance…

Last month the channel was required to register as a foreign agent with the US Justice Department, meaning its content is considered propaganda in the US. Just weeks ago RT created a fake Foreign Office twitter account with HM Government branding as part of an online project to reenact the 1917 Russian revolution. The account was shut down on the FCO’s request…

Records of payment for RT appearances by Labour figures do not appear in the Register of Members’ Interests. Labour is enjoying dozens of hours of free TV exposure courtesy of the Kremlin…

Full roll call of shame:

Richard Burgon
October 7, 2017

John McDonnell MP
September 30, 2017

Richard Burgon MP
September 30, 2017

Chris Williamson MP
September 18, 2017

Richard Burgon MP
September 13, 2017

Dave Ward (CWU)
September 9, 2017

Emma Dent Coad MP
August 8, 2017

Gina Miller
July 22, 2017

Peter Dowd MP
July 19, 2017

Lauren Pidcock MP
July 5, 2017

Richard Burgon MP
June 24, 2017

Khalid Mahmood
June 21, 2017

Chi Onwurah MP
June 19, 2017

Peter Dowd MP
May 31, 2017

Jim Fitzpatrick MP
April 29, 2017

Chi Onwurah MP
March 15, 2017

Nick Srnicek (billed as McDonnell advisor)
March 15, 2017

Chris Williamson MP
March 11, 2017

Clive Lewis MP
March 11, 2017

Barry Gardiner MP
March 11, 2017

Ken Livingstone
February 26, 2017

Richard Burgon MP
January 23, 2017

Richard Burgon MP
January 21, 2017

Barry Gardiner MP
January 14, 2017

Ken Livingstone
January 7, 2017

Richard Burgon MP
December 21, 2016

Ken Loach
November 5, 2016

Barry Gardiner MP
November 2, 2016

Chi Onwurah MP
October 12. 2016

Andrew Murray
October 8, 2017

Peter Dowd MP
October 3, 2016

Claudia Webb (NEC)
September 21, 2016

Nic Dakin MP
September 19, 2016

Steve McCabe MP
September 4, 2016

Ken Loach
July 17, 2016

Jackie Walker
May 21, 2016

Matt Wrack (Fire Brigades Union)
May 18. 2016

Ken Livingstone
May 9, 2016

James Schneider
March 30, 2016

Richard Burgon MP
March 23, 2016

Richard Burgon MP
February 8, 2016

John McDonnell MP
January 23, 2016

Ian Lavery MP
October 31, 2015

Seumas Milne
October 5, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn MP
August 29, 2015

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”


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