Alex Salmond complains to Theresa May over Russia Today chat show row
A senior Downing Street figure had asked Alex Salmond to “reconsider” his choice of channel
The Alex Salmond Show set - Image credit: Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond has complained to Theresa May after a senior Downing Street figure urged him to "reconsider" his decision to host a chat show on Kremlin-funded TV channel Russia Today.
In a surprising move, the former SNP leader has written to the Prime Minister claiming it was an attack on free speech.
Salmond has come in for widespread criticism over his decision to sign up with RT, which is widely viewed as a propaganda channel for Vladimir Putin.
- Alex Salmond to host chat show for Russian broadcaster RT
- David Cameron turns down invitation to appear on Alex Salmond chatshow
A Downing Street source said: "As members of his own party have urged, Mr Salmond might do well to reconsider his curious decision to host a programme on Russia Today.
"This association with a country that seeks to undermine the international order will worry members of the public."
But in his letter to May, the former first minister said: "I need hardly tell you that using the power of your office to seek to dissuade a private citizen from broadcasting on a channel which is duly licensed by the British broadcasting authority, Ofcom, carries with it the most serious possible implications for freedom of speech in this country.
"Will you now tell me by return if this is a genuine quote or not and whether it reflects your position as Prime Minister?"
Nicola Sturgeon has said "his choice of channel would not have been my choice".
She added: "Alex is not currently an elected politician and is free to do as he wishes – but had I been asked, I would have advised against RT and suggested he seek a different channel to air what I am sure will be an entertaining show."
Glasgow City Council faces repair bill of up to £7.5m to bring the Winter Gardens back to a safe standard
A festival of Britishness sets the wrong tone at this time of uncertainty and poverty
Grants of up to £30,000 to be allocated to sports projects
City of Edinburgh Council has announced plans to introduce a £2 or two per cent per night tourist tax