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23 Jul, 2020 23:19

Labour letter calling to revoke RT’s license is ‘devastating’ proof of UK war on free press – Afshin Rattansi

Labour letter calling to revoke RT’s license is ‘devastating’ proof of UK war on free press – Afshin Rattansi

A letter from a high-ranking Labour MP demanding regulators carry out an “urgent” review of RT’s media license amounts to political interference and further proves an ongoing assault on the free media, said RT’s Afshin Rattansi.

The letter, sent Wednesday by Labour’s Shadow Media Secretary Jo Stevens MP to the regulator Ofcom, called for an immediate review of RT’s license and a meeting with the agency’s head, Dame Melanie Dawes. As justification, Stevens cited Tuesday’s parliamentary report on alleged ‘Russian influence’ in UK politics, even though it offered little to no evidence for any such meddling.

Also on rt.com Free press? Labour letter demands RT UK’s license gets REVOKED in light of ‘damning’ Russia report that gave NO examples or proof

“We have this leaked letter, arguably proof that Sir Keir Starmer wishes to curb the free press and most notably attack an independent, so-called, media regulator,” said Ashraf Rattansi, host of RT’s Going Underground, referring to the Labour leader.

We now have the words of… Starmer’s Shadow Department of Culture, Media, and Sports Secretary in a private letter sent to this independent regulator saying, almost telling her urgently, ‘I need to see you.’ To do what? To interfere with an independent regulator? Devastating.

Slamming the letter as an attempt to bully the media watchdog, Rattansi also noted the move may amount to a breach of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which codifies the “freedom to hold opinions without interference.”

After the release of Parliament’s ‘Russia report’ on Tuesday, Starmer soon weaponized its thinly backed conclusions, calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to crack down on RT for what he deemed “serious distortions” in its coverage and to “look again at the licensing.” Rattansi said the party has overstepped its bounds.

“Keir Starmer has crossed a line here. He is attempting, perhaps, to interfere with an independent media regulator – politically,” he said.

This is a leader of the opposition at the dispatch box, where he has parliamentary privilege, talking to the prime minister about wanting to ban RT.

Also on rt.com Now muzzle RT as part of the UK’s ’new normal’? Clearly Starmer hasn’t heard that a free press is a hallmark of a democratic state

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