Boris Johnson slams MPs who go on Russia Today despite Tory MPs and his own father doing so

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Boris Johnson has attacked opposition politicians appearing on Russia Today – despite a string of Tory MPs and his own father doing so.

It came after Keir Starmer called on the Prime Minister to “look again” at the license for the Moscow-backed channel to operate in the UK in light of the Russia report.

The Labour leader has also called on SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to condemn former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s appearances on the channel.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Starmer pressed for action against “Kremlin-backed disinformation”.

But the Prime Minister lashed out, saying Sir Keir should have called out Labour former leader Jeremy Corbyn “when he took money for appearing on Russia Today”, adding: “The Leader of the Opposition has more flip-flops than Bournemouth beach.”

Mr Johnson’s father Stanley appeared on Russia Today in 2017 to promote a book.

And a string of Tory MPs – including sitting ministers – have accepted payments to appear on the broadcaster.

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng, deputy speaker Nigel Evans, senior Government Whip Mike Freer, backbencher David TC Davies and Defence Minister Johnny Mercer have all appeared on the channel – some of them multiple times.

The PM’s Press Secretary refused to comment Stanley Johnson’s appearances.

“Not one for me to comment on, what the Prime Minster’s father does,” the Press Secretary said.

Mr Starmer responded: “Pre-prepared gags on flip-flops, this is the former columnist who wrote two versions of every article ever published.

“In case the Prime Minister hadn’t noticed, the Labour Party is under new management.

“No frontbencher of this party has appeared on Russia Today since I’ve been leading this party.”

The call comes a day after the release of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on Russian meddling in UK democratic processes.

It said RT, formerly known as Russia Today, put out “serious distortions” along with fellow state-owned broadcaster Sputnik.

Asked if Mr Starmer condemned Mr Salmond’s appearances on the channel, a spokesman for the Labour leader said: “We completely condemn it and we advise the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to do the same.

“She should make a public statement condemning it.”

The spokesman added: “He (Keir) would certainly say it is the wrong thing to do (appearing on RT).

“As Keir said, no member of the frontbench has been on Russia Today since Keir was put in charge and it is certainly not anything we would endorse.”

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