RUSSIAN-state media like RT should "go" from the UK in light of the Ukraine invasion, an SNP MP has said.

Stewart McDonald said the TV station – which notably features a show with former First Minister Alex Salmond – is “critical” in bolstering and attempting to justify “Russian aggression”.

The SNP’s defence spokesperson called on the Prime Minister to act, arguing the UK “pretends” the Kremlin-controlled station formerly known as Russia Today was the “benign equivalent” of broadcasters such as the BBC World Service or France24.

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He said: “They are not. It’s time they went.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer made similar calls on Tuesday, saying RT "should be prevented from broadcasting its propaganda around the world".

It comes as the UK launched the “first barrage” of sanctions on Russia following its troops entering two areas of eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Putin has falsely claimed Russian soldiers are on “peacekeeping duties” in Luhansk and Donetsk – two breakaway states which are pro-Moscow.

RT broadcasts pro-Putin news and has been repeatedly rapped by the broadcasting regulator for breaking impartiality rules.

Ofcom ruled against the station for inaccurate reporting on the conflict in Syria in 2012 and said in 2018 Salmond had undermined viewers’ trust with misleading reporting.

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The Prime Minister said McDonald’s view would be “widely shared” though not by “some” on the opposition – a nod to Alba MPs Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill.

But “we don’t live in a country where politicians can close down media outlets”.

It would be for the independent broadcast regulator to make a decision about the station’s future, he said.

Ofcom has pledged to investigate complaints about any broadcaster including RT "as a priority", in light of the Ukrainian crisis.

A spokesperson said: "All licensees must observe Ofcom’s rules, including due accuracy and due impartiality. If broadcasters break those rules, we will not hesitate to step in.

"Given the seriousness of the Ukraine crisis, we will examine complaints about any broadcaster's coverage of these events as a priority."

Anna Belkina, RT’s deputy editor-in-chief, said: "Always a joy to see Western and particularly British politicians finally drop their hypocritical disguise in favour of open interference in institutions they touted as supposedly totally independent and wholly free from political pressure and interference."