Question: What do the BBC, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist-sympathising spin doctor Seumas Milne have in common?
Answer: Russia Today.
It may have been confirmed today that the Royal Bank of Scotland has frozen RT’s British bank account but the BBC, Corbyn and Milne are seemingly well-disposed towards to the Kremlin-funded broadcaster.
In August Heat Street revealed that RT gave a free Wimbledon men’s final Centre Court ticket to Alex Wares, a Russia Today employee. On the open market this plum ticket would have been worth a four-figure sum.
It remains unclear why Wares was given the ticket, which was effectively bankrolled by BBC licence fee payers.
Also watching the tennis on Centre Court that day courtesy of licence fee payers were two men with an eye on one day running the BBC – head of news, James Harding and BBC radio chief James Purnell.
Meanwhile both Corbyn and Milne have on several occasions recently been guests on RT, interviewed about their political lives and beliefs.
Here’s Corbyn shortly before he became Labour leader (for the first time):
There is an irony to the Royal Bank of Scotland calling time on RT’s bank accounts – for at the same time, the Russian state is ramping up its presence in Scotland.
The BBC today reported that the state-funded Sputnik news agency was set up in Edinburgh in August to broadcast live radio programmes from Scotland.
And the Herald recently reported that the online news site Pravda International – an offshoot of the original Soviet newspaper – will in January open an office in Edinburgh.
Will the Russians still be able to do so if they don’t have a British bank account?