Ken Quits As Nat West Freezes Press TV’s Bank Accounts
The fallout from Ken’s incredible lack of political judgement continues with Ken now announcing that he was always going to step down from Press TV in March, about the same time that Air Traffic Control at Heathrow reports a squadron of of low flying pigs on the radar.
Did Ken voluntarily give up his lucrative job for Press TV, or was Ken becoming so politically toxic that the Labour Party Hierarchy were forced to tell him to quit?
Now Nat West has frozen Press TV’s main bank account and will shortly close it.
Recent convert to Islam, Lauren Booth, sister of Cherie Balir described the move as “punitive, draconian theft”, but she like Ken Livingstone is also on the payroll of Press TV
A television station that broadcasts from London and is widely seen as Iran’s propaganda mouthpiece in the West has had its British bank account frozen.
Ken Livingstone, Labour’s candidate for London mayor, will also stop presenting a monthly show on Press TV from March, it emerged yesterday.
In The Times last week Shirin Ebadi, the exiled Nobel peace laureate, and other victims of Iran’s brutal regime condemned Mr Livingstone’s employment by Press TV for about £500 a show, saying that he was giving the station legitimacy and showing disdain for the oppressed Iranian people.
A Labour spokesman said that Mr Livingstone had always intended to stop in March and denied that he had been ordered to by his party.
A spokesman for the re-election campaign of Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, insisted otherwise. “Make no mistake … It was only because it was an embarrassment to the Labour Party that he decided to end his job with Press TV,” he said.
The National Westminster Bank has frozen and will shortly close Press TV’s main trading account, which is believed to contain more than £100,000, in what its supporters see as a politically motivated act designed to silence a dissenting voice.
A NatWest spokesman declined to explain the move. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office insisted that it was a “private commercial decision over which the Government has no control”.
Lauren Booth, Cherie Blair’s sister who works for Press TV and recently converted to Islam, claimed however that it was a “politically motivated act intended to cripple a thriving British company whose programmes and news bulletins shed light on areas of policy which certain agencies would sooner keep in the dark”.
Ms Booth recalled how a US diplomatic cable recently released by WikiLeaks revealed that the British Government was “exploring ways to limit [Press TV’s] operations”. She continued: “The bank accounts of those companies that bring uncomfortable truths into the public domain can now be closed as part of a political agenda, eliciting [sic] from the USA. Supported by NatWest and Her Majesty’s Government.”
Press TV is a 24-hour English-language channel launched by Tehran in 2007 to counter the Western media’s dominance. It operates from Hanger Lane in northwest London and faithfully reports the regime’s line.
It has broadcast “documentaries” accusing Western agents of murdering Neda Agha Soltan, the student who became a worldwide symbol of the regime’s barbarity when she was shot dead during a pro-democracy demonstration, and “confessions” by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman condemned to death by stoning for alleged adultery, that her supporters insist were coerced.
Last summer the former Labour MP George Galloway conducted a fawning interview with President Ahmadinejad on his Press TV show, addressing him as “Your Excellency”. Two high-profile British presenters, Nick Ferrari and Andrew Gilligan, have resigned, saying that the station has become a “propaganda operation”.
Matthew Richardson, Press TV’s legal adviser, said NatWest had refused to explain why it had frozen the station’s account. “They’re not responding to our calls,” he complained. “They’re not responding to our correspondence. They’re not giving any reason why they’ve done it.”
He said that the station was still able to pay its 80-odd employees but “obviously it does have an effect … It’s becoming an uphill struggle.”
Ms Booth called NatWest’s action “punitive, draconian theft”. The Times £