Shadow ministers have appeared at least 26 times on RT
Shadow ministers have appeared at least 26 times on a Russian station called RT since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove asked why frontbenchers are appearing on a “literal Kremlin propaganda channel”.
But Labour said: “Spokespeople appear on a wide range of outlets with a strong emphasis on domestic broadcasters to present our plans to transform Britain.”
RT was established in 2005 as “Russia Today” and has breached broadcasting rules 14 times in the past decade.
It is designed to look like existing western outlets such as CNN with a similar mix of news and features presented in the same way.
But, RT acts in the foreign policy interests of the Russian Government.
An RT journalist quit live on television this year, claiming the channel “whitewashed the actions of Putin” and been asked by editors to promote Russian foreign policy.
The frequent appearances of Labour’s frontbench team has been highlighted by the political blog Guido Fawkes, which accuses RT of offering a “free platform to Corbynistas”.
Shadow Lord Chancellor Richard Burgon has appeared 11 times, shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner three times, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has appeared twice and two new shadow ministers have become regulars.
Peter Dowd was appointed Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in February and has already appeared on RT six times.
Shadow Fire Minister Chris Williamson was appointed in July and has appeared four times.
All of the frontbenchers have appeared on a current affairs programme called “Going Underground” which OFCOM found breached impartiality rules last year.
It ran an unbalanced report that accused Turkey of genocidal war against the Kurds.
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At the time Moscow was in dispute with Ankara after a Russian aircraft was shot down.
Despite this, Mr Burgon went on Going Underground four times after the OFCOM ruling.
This is not the first time prominent Labour MPs have appeared on dubious foreign television channels.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has appeared on Venezuelan TV in 2014 to praise the country’s leader, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
John McDonnell has appeared on RT twice
Maduro has been branded a “dictator” after two of the country’s opposition leaders were seized from their homes by state security forces.
Mr Corbyn also spoke of the previous Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, and his visit to London.
He said: “During the visit of President Chávez to London, which was a huge demonstration of support. Myself, Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone spoke extensively with President Chávez.”
But, Senior Conservative politicians have declared thousands of pounds in the House of Commons register for appearing on RT.
Jeremy Corbyn also appeared on Venezuelan TV
Assistant Government Whip Mike Freer appeared on the RT satirical chat show called “News Thing”.
He played a game called “Who do you reckon might be gay?” which speculated on the sexuality of Islamic State fighters and the boxer Tyson Fury.
David Davies who chairs the Welsh affairs select committee accepted £1,500 for two appearances on News Thing along with Nigel Evans.
Backbenchers Crispon Blunt, Sir David Amess, Daniel Kawcynski and Philip Davies have also appeared on RT.