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Appearance by RT presenter Afshin Rattansi on BBC's Question Time sparks outrage on social media

In a week when diplomatic relations with Russia are at a very frosty low the propaganda channel presenter is a controversial booking

    A controversial former BBC and Guardian journalist who specialises in Russian affairs is due to appear on BBC Question Time this evening as part of the debate on the spy poisoning affair.

    Afshin Rattansi currently presents a London-based programme on the RT channel which was previously known as Russia Today.

    He is a former presenter on Press TV, which is funded by the Iranian regime.

    But Mr Rattansi is also a regular commentator on political affairs, and has in the past two years shared articles on his Twitter feed which claim the allegations of antisemitism within the Labour Party in Britain are “smears” intended to harm Jeremy Corbyn.

    Last September he posted a tweet claiming “Israel supported Isis and Al Qaeda against Assad in Syria”, and in conversation with Gilad Atzmon has made the antisemitic suggestion that Israel acts like the Nazis.

    A series of Mr Rattansi’s claims have been highlighted on Twitter today by Dave Rich, head of policy at the Community Security Trust.

    Dr Rich said the award-winning journalist’s contributions to the flagship BBC current affairs programme were likely to be “enlightening”.

    Mr Rich was just one of a number of people who questionsed the wisdom of this booking on Twitter

    Mr Rattansi, a Cambridge-born broadcaster, will be joined on the programme by Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary; Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary; Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness; and actor Brian Cox.

    The programme is on BBC One at 10.45pm. 

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