Russian state-backed news channel RT has had its licence to broadcast in the UK revoked “with immediate effect” by media regulator Ofcom.
“We do not consider RT’s licensee, ANO TV Novosti, fit and proper to hold a UK broadcast licence,” it explained.
Ofcom is carrying out 29 investigations “into the due impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
RT called Ofcom “a tool of the government”.
The channel had already disappeared from all broadcast platforms in the UK earlier this month as a result of a ban imposed by the European Union.
Although the UK is no longer in the EU, the bloc applied sanctions to satellite companies in Luxembourg and France, which provided the RT feed to Sky, Freesat and Freeview in the UK. UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who has described the channel as “Putin’s polluting propaganda machine”, said at the time she hoped it would not return to UK screens.
Ofcom said its investigation took account of factors including:
RT’s relationship with the Russian Federation – Ofcom said RT is funded by the Russian state, which has recently invaded a neighbouring sovereign country
New laws in Russia which effectively criminalise any independent journalism that departs from the Russian state’s own news narrative, in particular in relation to the invasion of Ukraine
“We consider that given these constraints it appears impossible for RT to comply with the due impartiality rules of our Broadcasting Code in the circumstances,” Ofcom added.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison’s secret ministerial appointments raise questions about whether his actions will fall under the scope of the promised federal integrity body.
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