Mr John Whittingdale
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the Russian people are being consistently lied to by Russian state media about both the scale of Russia’s military action and the resulting loss of life? Does she agree that that makes the role of the BBC World Service and other trusted media all the more important, and will she bear that in mind when considering any calls for taking action against Russian state media in this country?
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
My right hon. Friend is entirely right. There is, quite simply, a pack of lies being produced on Russian state media. He is also right about the vital importance of the BBC World Service and other services from which the Russian people can hear a more balanced and truthful version of events. He is also right about the consequences and the unintended consequences of preventing channels from operating in the UK as there could be reciprocation, which would then make it harder for the Russian people to hear the truth.