EXCL Downing Street urges Alex Salmond to 'reconsider' Russia Today chat show
Downing Street has urged Alex Salmond to "reconsider" his decision to host a chat show on Kremlin-funded TV station Russia Today, PoliticsHome can reveal.
The call came in the wake of Theresa May accusing Vladimir Putin of using "state-run media organisations" to wage a propaganda war and "sow discord" in countries throughout the West.
Mr Salmond has come in for widespread criticism since announcing that he will present his own weekly show on the controversial channel.
SNP MEP Alyn Smyth said "what the f*** is he thinking", while a Nationalist MP described his decision to sign up with RT as "dangerously undignified".
Nicola Sturgeon, his successor as SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, said "his choice of channel would not have been my choice".
She added: "Alex is not currently an elected politician and is free to do as he wishes – but had I been asked, I would have advised against RT and suggested he seek a different channel to air what I am sure will be an entertaining show."
In a further blow for Mr Salmond, a Number 10 source said: "As members of his own party have urged, Mr Salmond might do well to reconsider his curious decision to host a programme on Russia Today.
"This association with a country that seeks to undermine the international order will worry members of the public."
But Mr Salmond told the BBC: "I appeared on RT programmes when I was still a Member of Parliament.
"It would be a bit strange if I said 'now I'm no longer a Member of Parliament I'm refusing to make my own show with my own production company over which I have total editorial control.
"If it turns out to be Kremlin propaganda, then people can slate me."