Bryant Writes Book on Dishonesty in Politics, Still Hasn’t Corrected Record for Farage Russia Claim

Sir Chris Bryant has written a book about sleaze, corruption, and dishonesty in politics, and has spent the morning promoting it on television. He appeared on Good Morning Britain today to insist politicians “really have to do better“, and lamented the ‘normalisation’ of “lying to Parliament”. He’s particularly upset about MPs refusing to correct the record for misleading the Commons…

Maybe the book will explain why, after over a year, he still hasn’t corrected the record for his claim about Nigel Farage. In March 2022, Bryant stood up in the Commons and declared it an outrage that Farage had supposedly taken “£548,573 from Russia Today in 2018 alone […] from the Russian state“, and that he should be sanctioned by the government:

Under the protection of parliamentary privilege, he got away with making a claim which was completely untrue. The £548,573 figure was the total sum for all of Farage’s media appearances up to 2018, including the lucrative fees for his LBC show. Farage didn’t appear on Russia Today at all in 2018, and says he has had two appearance fees in total worth “well under £5,000”. Not quite half-a-million…

For some reason, Bryant hasn’t mentioned this claim anywhere else since, and is pretending it never happened. Perhaps because, without parliamentary privilege, he knows he’d find a lawyer’s letter in his post by tomorrow. Falsely claiming someone has taken over £500,000 from the Russian state would be costly in the courts…

Bryant was one of the most egregious of the expense-fiddling MPs, making a £649,500 profit out of rent-swapping at the taxpayer’s expense. For years he rented out his Bloomsbury flat for £3,000-a-month whilst charging his rent on another London property to expenses.  When Guido challenged him about this years ago, asking why he didn’t live in the Bloomsbury flat or sell it, he claimed somewhat dishonestly that the flat was “in negative equity”. Which would have made it the only flat in London to have gone down in price… 

mdi-timer 10 August 2023 @ 12:25 10 Aug 2023 @ 12:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Ofcom Revokes RT’s Broadcast Licence

Ofcom has just revoked RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect. They say after reviewing their output they are not “fit and proper to hold a UK broadcast licence”

“Today’s decision comes amid 29 ongoing investigations by Ofcom into the due impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We consider the volume and potentially serious nature of the issues raised within such a short period to be of great concern – especially given RT’s compliance history, which has seen the channel fined £200,000 for previous due impartiality breaches.”

“Taking all of this into account, as well as our immediate and repeated compliance concerns, we have concluded that we cannot be satisfied that RT can be a responsible broadcaster in the current circumstances. Ofcom is therefore revoking RT’s licence to broadcast with immediate effect.”

The news follows Guido’s exclusive pictures yesterday of the RT Millbank offices being cleared out.

Seems shortsighted – RT was already off almost all screens thanks to Sky, Freesat and Freeview all blocking the channel, now Russia has an excuse to kick the BBC out of their country…

mdi-timer 18 March 2022 @ 08:16 18 Mar 2022 @ 08:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Russia Today Clearing Out Westminster Studio

Russia Today are currently clearing out their studio in Millbank Tower. Their office has been practically silent for the last couple of weeks, and now they’re finally packing their bags and hitting the road. The TVs have been switched off and it looks like their studio equipment is being hauled out the building at the time of going to pixel. Putin’s off-air propaganda channel looks to be permanently vacating the place they’ve called home for so long…

Pictured is George Galloway’s studio kit being removed. Earlier today Alex Salmond was spotted outside RT’s Millbank office:

Handy for the new Cold War…

mdi-timer 17 March 2022 @ 15:03 17 Mar 2022 @ 15:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Putin Tells Ukrainian Army to Surrender, Calls Ukrainian Government “Drug Addicts and Neo-Nazis”

The live translator merely reports Putin calling the Ukrainian government “Nazis”, however multiple Russian-translating journalists have reported the full quote as “Take power into your own hands. It looks like it’ll be easier for us to make a deal with you than this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis.” Russia Today need a new translator…

mdi-timer 25 February 2022 @ 15:12 25 Feb 2022 @ 15:12 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Pros & Cons of Banning Putin’s Propaganda Channel

Guido leans towards not banning Putin’s RT channel in the UK for the following reasons:

  • The propaganda is counter-productively nonsensical at times
  • Free democracies can withstand misinformation because they have a plurality of news sources
  • It will give Putin an excuse to ban British media organisations that puncture Putin’s domestic hyper-reality

Though now it transpires that Alastair Campbell used the channel to demagogically call for the overthrow of the democratic will of a sovereign nation post-referendum, it is giving Guido second thoughts. On balance, the tiny audience for the channel probably does not make a ban worthwhile…

mdi-timer 25 February 2022 @ 12:02 25 Feb 2022 @ 12:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Salmond Suspends RT Show Until Peace is Re-Established

Salmond has suspended his Russia Today show – statement in full:

“Släinte Media have decided to suspend the Alex Salmond Show broadcast on RT until further notice. We now have the worst of all fears – a hot war in Europe. The efforts of every single person should be to re-establish the peace. That certainly is our focus, and therefore Slainte Media have decided to suspend the Alex Salmond Show until that can be secured. There is no productive point in having the future of a television show dominate Prime Minister’s Questions as it did yesterday, when politicians should be rising to the occasion of the great issues of peace in Europe.

The Show has broadcast over 200 independently produced episodes by a Scottish company run by Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and I. Each and every one of the programmes has attempted to give a range of serious people of contrasting opinions a fair chance to state their views. That applied from our first interview with Carles Puigdemont to today’s interview with Sir Vince Cable.

That will be the last one broadcast until a peace is re-established. As our hundreds of quests can testify, I should make it clear that not once in all of that time, has there been a single piece of editorial interference of any kind from RT. They have kept entirely to their commitments on this in line with the Ofcom code.

In contrast, the blatant attacks on freedom of speech from establishment political parties are not just entirely hypocritical, but have whipped up a crescendo of personal abuse and harassment of my co-presenter Ms Ahmed-Sheikh to the extent that she is now quite legitimately concerned about the safety of her family. 

All wars come to an end. Let us pray that this one will not escalate even further. Now every single persons’ efforts should turn to supporting attempts to regain the peace.”

mdi-timer 24 February 2022 @ 17:19 24 Feb 2022 @ 17:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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