Cole-Hamilton calls on Parliament to send signal to Russia

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today filed a motion in the Parliament condemning Russia and Russian backed media outlets for denying Russian involvement in the barbaric attack in Salisbury last week. He has also encouraged Scottish politicians and businesses to distance themselves from Russian state backed media companies.

Following the release of Russian made nerve agent ‘Novichok’ in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last week, Mr Cole-Hamilton criticised former First Minister Alex Salmond’s continued relationship with Russia Today and called on Ofcom to review the licences of all Russian state backed media companies.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"There's a cold irony in Alex Salmond driving traffic to his show on Russia Today for his reaction to the Skripal poisoning.

“This isn't just some whodunnit for Salmond to joke about, as he did trailing his LBC show on Twitter, it's a chemical attack on British soil and hundreds of British citizens could be affected in the weeks and months to come. If he has any decency he will make this his last show.

“I applaud the Prime Minister’s move to expel Russian diplomats and would urge all groups and individuals in Scottish public life to take a stand by refusing future invitations for interview and to end any commercial relationships with Russian state backed media outlets immediately.

“I would like to see MSPs from across the Parliament make this commitment.”

The motion submitted by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

That the Parliament notes the release of Russian-made nerve agent ‘Novichok’ in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018; understands that exposure to this chemical in this attack could affect many UK citizens in the weeks or even years to come; utterly condemns this barbaric and murderous act; further notes that the UK Government is treating this as the unlawful release of a chemical weapon on UK soil and has responded with a range of measures against Russian state interests in the UK; condemns the response of Russian state-backed media outlets, such as Russia Today, who have attempted to deflect or deny the suggestion of Russian involvement; understands that these outlets are recognised as agents of the Russian state by numerous international authorities and institutions and believes they are no longer fit and proper to hold a broadcasting license in the UK; calls on Ofcom to expedite a review of all Russian state-backed media companies with a view to suspending their broadcasting licenses, and further calls upon MSPs and other senior figures and groups in Scottish public life to refuse future invitations for interview from and to end all commercial relationships with any such outlets immediately.

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