Afshin Rattansi is a presenter for the state-backed TV Channel RT who began his career on The Guardian as one of the paper’s youngest-ever columnists, he has also worked for Channel 4, the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Press TV and Bloomberg.
But he is not one to shy away from controversy having previously claimed London, Paris and Washington helped give birth to ISIS with their actions in the Middle East.
Conservative MP for Totnes Sarah Wollaston said: “Seriously, why is BBC Question Time giving a platform to RT, a mouthpiece for Putin?
“Russia has unleashed a nerve agent here in Britain & 3 people, including a police officer, have been fighting for their lives. Hope other panellists walk out in disgust.”
Although, Russia involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and others in Salisbury is suspected it has not been conclusively proven and Russia still denies any responsibility.
At the start of the programme Mr Rattansi said: “Obviously everyone condemns this attack, it’s terrible for the police officer and these two spies.
“And can I just say thank you to the BBC for inviting me because the head of the liaison committee in Parliament, Sarah Wollaston MP, has told all the people on this panel to walk off.
“That’s free speech in this country.”
Mr Rattansi also appeared on BBC Question Time alongside Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, the Vice President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and award-winning actor Brian Cox.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the attempted murder of Mr Skripal in Salisbury earlier this month was the Kremlin’s way of warning defectors and dissidents “look at what happens to people who stand up to the regime”.
Boris Johnson said the evidence is “overwhelming” that Russia was behind the attack, which the Government said was perpetrated using a horrific Soviet-era nerve agent known as Novichok.
He told the BBC’s Today programme it was “obvious” that Russia has held on to illegal stockpiles of chemical weapons.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attempted murder on March 4.
Mr Johnson also hinted at possible economic sanctions by saying Britain would “go after the Russian money”.
The UK is to expel 23 Russian diplomats as a response to the poisoning.
The Foreign Secretary also revealed the Prime Minister is due to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron about the nerve agent attack again.
Reuters has reported a French official as saying France agrees with Britain’s assessment Russia was responsible for the attack and that there was no other possible explanation.
Vladimir Putin and Russian officials have maintained it had no hand in the poisoning, which left former double agent Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
Russia is preparing for its latest presidential election, with the first round of voting taking place on on Sunday, March 18.
Mr Putin is widely expected to storm to victory and secure a fourth term.