Russian-owned RT news channel hit with multiple investigations in wake of Sergei Skripal poisoning

  • Russian state television channel RT under investigation by Ofcom in the wake of Sergei Skripal poisoning.
  • UK broadcasting regulators announce 7 new investigations.
  • Channel’s future in doubt in the UK as Ofcom consider whether the channel is “fit and proper” to retain its licence.
  • Ofcom record a “significant increase” in broadcasts that potentially breach broadcasting rules, since events in Salisbury.

The future of RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK is now in doubt after broadcasting regulators announced seven new investigations into the Russian state-owned news channel.

In a statement, Ofcom said they had recorded a “significant increase” in broadcasts that potentially breach broadcasting rules, since the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

“Since the events in Salisbury, we have observed a significant increase in the number of programmes broadcast that we consider warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Broadcasting Code,” a spokesperson for Ofcom said.

Ofcom has a responsibility to consider whether channels remain “fit and proper” to broadcast in the UK. It announced plans to look again at the channel, following Skripal’s poisoning.

All UK broadcasters must follow “due impartiality” rules in the UK. Ofcom noted that previous breaches by the channel had been in relation to reports on Russian foreign policy.

RT said the channel had not changed their output since the events in Salisbury.

“We are pleased to see that Ofcom has acknowledged RT’s compliance record has been in line with other broadcasters,” a spokesman said.

“Our editorial approach has not changed since the events in Salisbury, and we will be directly addressing this matter with the regulator.”