'Foreign Office says news organisations refused entry to London event over their ‘active role in spreading disinformation’'
'Russia’s RT and Sputnik news organisations have been banned by the Foreign Office from attending a global conference on media freedom in London because of their “active role in spreading disinformation”.
Some 60 ministers and 1,000 journalists and members of civil society are expected to attend the meeting, co-hosted with Canada, on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said. “While it’s not possible to accommodate all requests for accreditation, journalists from across the world’s media are attending the conference, including from Russia.”
The Russian embassy previously condemned the decision relating to RT as “direct politically motivated discrimination” and said it had complained to the Foreign Office. In a statement on Friday, it said RT had been told there was no space for its journalists at the conference.
After the Foreign Office comments on Monday, RT said in a statement: “It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media.”
In December, British media regulator Ofcom found that RT had broken impartiality rules with several programmes broadcast after the nerve agent attack in the English city of Salisbury. Moscow has denied claims by London that it approved the attack on a former Russian double agent in March last year.
Organisers of the London conference say it is intended to increase international discussion and cooperation on the issue of media freedom, including fake news.'
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