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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S5M-11018

Russian-backed Media Outlets

Submitted by: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Date lodged: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Supported by: Jackie Baillie, Alexander Burnett, Maurice Golden, Willie Rennie, Tavish Scott

That the Parliament notes reports that the Russian-made nerve agent, Novichok, was used in the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018; understands that exposure to this chemical could affect many UK citizens in the months to come; condemns this barbaric act; 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 what it sees as the response of Russian state-backed media outlets, such as Russia Today, which it believes have attempted to deflect or deny the suggestion of Russian involvement; understands that these outlets are recognised as agents of Russia by international authorities and institutions; believes that, consequently, they should be considered 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 urges all groups and people in Scottish public life, including MSPs, to refuse invitations from these outlets for interview and to immediately end any commercial relationships that they might have with them.