London Mayor urged to ban Russian news ads

Conservative politician becomes the latest figure to question controversial RT posters on the London Underground

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to pull all advertising by the Russian state news network Russia Today (RT) from the London Underground.

The network broadcasts an English language channel and recently paid for a series of contentious poster adverts on the tube.

The cheeky ads refer to suspicion of Russian election interference and anti-Russian sentiment more generally.

One reads: “Watch RT and find out who are planning to hack.”

Another says: “Missed the train / Stuck in traffic? Lost a vote? Blame it on us.”

Last month Twitter banned RT and Sputnik accounts from advertising on its platform, citing the US intelligence agencies’ conclusion the media outlets were part of a Kremlin operation to disrupt last year’s US election.

We must not allow our values of free press blind us to a Russian state sponsored propaganda arm

London Assembly Member Gareth Bacon said wanted the Russian “propaganda” removed from the British capital.

“I am asking the Mayor to immediately move to block this company from advertising further on the Transport for London estate,” said the Conservative politician.

“We must not allow our values of free press blind us to what in this particular case is clearly a Russian state sponsored propaganda arm.”

“These adverts breach TfL advertising rules and are highly political in nature, emanating from a foreign power that is often hostile to the UK and its allies.”

The Labour MP Tom Watson, shadow culture secretary, has previously asked media regulator Ofcom to look into the RT ads. The Advertising Standards Agency said they had also received a complaint about RT.

A Transport for London spokeswoman said last month that the RT posters “comply with our advertising policy.”