Tory MP defends RT after Boris Johnson claims it is a ‘scandal’ to appear on channel

Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski has appeared on RT to defend the channel after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called it an “absolute scandal” that Labour MPs “continue to validate” our “propaganda.”

Johnson’s attempts to criticize Labour MPs backfired on Tuesday when RT pointed out that his own father, Stanley Johnson, had appeared on the channel just last month to discuss his book.

A number of the Foreign Secretary’s Tory colleagues have also appeared on RT. They include Crispin Blunt, David Amess, Andrew Mitchell, Charles Henry, Peter Lilley, David Davies, Bill Cash, Craig Whittaker, Bob Blackman, Andrew Rosindell, Mike Freer, Kwasi Kwarteng, Michael Fabricant and Johnny Mercer.

Kawczynski, the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, told RT that he “did not accept” the criticism by Johnson.

“Anyone who challenges or criticizes us - I think they should pause and take a moment to actually look at the interviews, to look at the sort of questions we receive as British politicians, to look at the context of what we are discussing. We are evaluating and giving our opinions to Russian and international viewers,” he said.

“I’ve always found the interviewing techniques and practises to be very sensible and professional, and that is why I continue to appear on this programme.”

The Tory MP vowed that he would not be deterred from appearing on RT, adding: “I have discussed this with colleagues. As long as RT continues to operate and has a license within the United Kingdom, I and other politicians will continue to engage with them as we do with CNN, your French equivalent and many, many other international channels.”

Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor-in-chief, also responded to Johnson’s remarks.

“It would have been astonishing, had it not been so banal: Boris Johnson is exercising his freedom of speech by bullying his fellow politicians for exercising theirs by speaking on RT,” she said.

The controversy arose after right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes said last week that Labour MPs had appeared on RT 40 times over the past two years.