Labour MPs 'should not appear on Russia Today'

By Alan McGuinness and Greg Heffer, Political Reporters
Labour's John McDonnell has urged his party's MPs to stop appearing on TV channel Russia Today in the wake of the Salisbury spy poisoning.
The shadow chancellor, who has previously appeared on the Kremlin-backed station now known as RT, said it was "right" to stop doing so due to the "current climate".
He added that there would be a discussion within Labour as to whether others in the party would follow suit.:: Spy poisoning latest: Diners told to wash possessions"What we are seeing from Russia Today sometimes goes beyond objective journalism from what I've seen," Mr McDonnell told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show."I have been looking overnight at some of what's happening in terms of the change in coverage on Russian television in particular and I think we have to step back now.
Labour MPs 'should not appear on Russia Today'

Russia Today, which is backed by the Kremlin, is now known as RT
"I can understand why people have (appeared on RT) up until now because we have treated it like every other television station."We tried to be fair with them and as long as they abide by journalistic standards that are objective that's fine but it looks as if they have gone beyond that line, so yes, we will have that discussion."
Mr McDonnell admitted there have "been examples" of RT aligning itself to Vladimir Putin's regime, adding: "I think now we need to take those into account, especially in this current climate and that's what we'll do."UK politicians have regularly been criticised for appearing on the station, which has been branded a "propaganda channel" for Moscow.Peter Dowd, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said he had appeared on RT a number of times, including in a programme shown at the start of the week.He told Sky News' Sunday with Paterson: "In light of the events of this week, of course we will undertake a review of what we do in regards to these, as you will always do in these sorts of circumstances."But I have to emphasise that what I try to do is to come onto television programmes like this and answer the questions that are put to me.
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"It's not for me to ask the questions. It's for other people to ask the questions and if I can answer them to the best of my ability, I will do so."In recent days, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has come under pressure from MPs to reconsider his plans to take up a €1m offer to work as a pundit for the channel at this summer's World Cup in Russia.
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