Evolve Politics, an online news outlet, has come to the defence of Russia Today (RT), ahead of Theresa May’s speech setting out Britain’s response to the attack in Salisbury. It is expected that she may propose action against the Kremlin-backed channel.
The Alt-left site has jumped to the defence of RT, with owner Tom Rogers writing:
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Tories (and many right-wing pro-establishment Labour MPs) are so desperate to ban Russia Today because, unlike huge portions of the British media, RT are actually willing to show the other side of the story that the British establishment doesn’t want the general public to think about.”
The title of the piece, ‘An MI5 agent just showed precisely why the Tories are so desperate to ban Russia Today,’ refers to an interview with former intelligence officer Annie Machon on the Russian channel.
Machon resigned from MI5 in 1996, and, along with her then partner, David Shayler, and subsequently sold classified documents to The Mail On Sunday, for which Shayler was jailed.
Machon has since suggested that 9/11 was an inside job with the Pentagon hit by a US-fired missile, not an aeroplane. She also claimed in her memoir that British secret service paid for Princess Diana to be murdered.
Other than the claim that it is a mouthpiece of the Kremlin, a major criticism of RT is that it gives platforms to conspiracy theories, including spreading fake news about the Grenfell Tower fire last year.
The channel, which has around 400,000 viewers per month in the UK, has also given a regular platform to Evolve Politics correspondent Matt Turner, who was recently given access to the Parliamentary press lobby. Turner has also appeared as a guest on George Galloway’s RT show.
Theresa May is responding today to the attack on former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Salisbury with a speech expected to set out actions against Russia. It is speculated that one potential move could be to remove RT’s broadcasting licence.