Nadine Dorries looked to be fighting back tears as she praised the bravery of BBC and ITV journalists in the House of Commons today.
The culture secretary hit out at Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT in Parliament, saying it should lose its licence and “never again” be able to broadcast “poisonous propaganda” into British homes.
She told MPs she hopes that TV watchdog Ofcom’s 27 investigations into RT will result in the removal of its licence.
The network – formerly Russia Today – was unavailable on Sky, Freesat and Freeview as of Wednesday.
Earlier, Ms Dorries was close to the tears as she said: “I’d just like to offer my heartfelt thanks and admiration… to all of those journalists working for the BBC, the ITV and other news outlets who are risking their lives to bring us unbiased and accurate news from a live warzone.”
This week Clive Myrie won plaudits for his fearless reporting from the ground in Kyiv.
Myrie, 57, said there was “so much crap” online about Russia’s war – and spoke of the need to counter misinformation.
“None of us are forced to come here,” he said.
“It’s part of our job. We all feel that we want to tell the story of this war and tell it accurately and fairly.
“That is really important because there is so much crap out there that is misinformation, propaganda nonsense. What you’re trying to do… is you’re trying to be truthful to this story.”
Cuts to funding
In January, Dorries froze the BBC license fee, likening the broadcaster to a “polar bear on a shrinking ice cap”.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, she said: “There is a problem with groupthink within the BBC, and I don’t think those people think they are left or they are right.
“I think they just believe they are absolutely right about everything. And they have a world view and a view of the UK, which is, I think, sometimes very wrong.
“Our responsibility is to save the BBC from itself, because it is that polar bear on a shrinking ice cap.”