RT could have its licence revoked after Ofcom announced it is launching an investigation
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury town centre on Sunday, March 4.
The pair remain in critical condition in the hospital after coming into contact with one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man, Novichok.
Yesterday, Theresa May issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Moscow that will expire at midnight tonight to provide an explanation for the “indiscriminate and reckless act against the UK” suggesting Moscow was either responsible for the attack or had lost control of its nerve agent stockpile.
She said: “On Wednesday we will consider in detail the response from the Russian State.
“Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.
Now Ofcom, the communications regulator has written to the holder of RT’s UK broadcast licences, ANO TV Novosti following Mrs May’s statement.
The regulator explained the letter said “should the UK investigating authorities determine that there was an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the UK, we would consider this relevant to our ongoing duty to be satisfied that RT is fit and proper.”
It goes on to explain that Ofcom will carry out an independent and expedited investigation into the Kremlin-controlled channel.
Theresa May demanded Russia provide an explanation on the Russia spy poison attack in Salisbury
Details of how this investigation will be conducted were not specified.
The investigation comes as politicians come under fire for their ties with RT.
The former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has his own show with RT called The Alex Salmond Show and it has been airing last November.
Ofcom is already investigating his political show over issues with “accuracy” and has yet to make a ruling.
Mr Salmond told former Tony Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell in an interview that he admires “certain aspects” of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership.
He added: “He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing.”
Mr Salmond has been warned that he “wouldn’t have a leg to stand on” if he remained at RT by former Conservative MP and Russia expert Harold Elleston.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell has appeared on the Kremlin-controlled channel multiple times including making calls that “Tories must step aside and let Labour govern” just eight months ago.
After mounting pressure Mr McDonnell told BBC’s Andrew Marr that he will no longer be making appearances on the show saying that RT’s coverage “goes beyond objective journalism”.
RT issued a full statement today disagreeing with Ofcom’s position.
RT said: “Our broadcasting has in no way changed this week from any other week, and continues to adhere to all standards.
“By linking RT to unrelated matters, Ofcom is conflating its role as a broadcasting regulator with matters of state.
The Kremlin has threatened to kick out UK media if RT’s licence is revoked
“RT remains a valuable voice in the UK news landscape, covering vital yet neglected stories and voices, including those of the many MPs and other UK public figures who have been shut out of public discourse by the mainstream media.”
“When the threat of having its license revoked first came to light, RT said the banning of the channel would do “away with any concept of press freedom in the UK.”
The Kremlin has threatened that “not a single British media outlet” will be abllowed to work in the country if Ofcom revokes RT’s licence.
Authorities are still working in Salisbury