Alex Salmond to host new TV show on Moscow-backed RT channel

Alex Salmond has been widely criticised as he prepares to host a new show for Kremlin-backed RT

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond has been condemned following the announcement he is to host a new show on Kremlin-backed news channel RT.

Mr Salmond will host the Alex Salmond Show, which will begin airing later this month.

RT, which is funded by the Russian government and exists amid concerns over its editorial independence from Moscow, has previously been sanctioned by Ofcom for breaching impartiality.

In 2015, they were determined to have shown bias, and repeatedly misled viewers over the Ukraine crisis.

In October 2017, adverts from the channel were banned by Twitter after the channel was found to have tried to influence last year’s US election.

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The announcement follows news that Mr Salmond is likely to become the new chairman of Johnston Press, which owns papers including The Scotsman and i.

He defended his new show on BBC Newsnight last night, insisting he would be able to exert editorial independence.

“I appeared on RT programs when I was still a member of parliament,” Mr Salmond said.

“It would be a bit strange if I said now I’m no longer a member of parliament, I’m refusing to make my own show, with my own production company, over which I have total editorial independence.”

Mr Salmond has previously appeared on RT shows such as Going Underground, and did so while he was an MP.

He lost his seat at the general election earlier this year.

However, some were skeptical of his claim of editorial independence.

Labour MP John Woodcock criticised Mr Salmond’s decision as it gave the Russian channel journalistic credibility.

Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton went even further, telling the former SNP leader to invite victims of the Putin regime including the widow of Alexander Litvinenko.

“If people watch the show, and if it is a good show, and it has high production values and has interesting guests with interesting things to say, they should say it’s a good show,” said Mr Salmond.

“And if it turns out to be Kremlin propaganda then people can slate me.

“But why don’t they watch the show first, and then decide?”

The Alex Salmond Show will air every Thursday, at 7:30am, 6:30pm and 11:30pm on RT.