Russian TV station slammed for sending chocolate Salisbury Cathedral as gift
28th December 2018

A Russian TV station has been slammed for sending chocolate models of Salisbury Cathedral as festive gifts.

State-run broadcaster RT sent the chocolate gifts to members of the media and others claiming it reflected one of the "biggest news stories of the year".

Politicians in the city, where ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok in March, are said to be furious about the "disrespectful" gift.

Salisbury MP John Glen said: "This is bizarre behaviour but to be expected."

A picture of the chocolate cathedral circulated online after Russian channel TV Dozhd, also known as TV rain, posted a picture of the edible gift on Twitter.

They thanked RT for the gift but said: "Come for tea, we’re afraid to eat it alone."

Salisbury councillor Jo Broom said the gift was "in very poor taste".

"It’s very regrettable that somebody would see fit to do something like this, and is quite disrespectful to those that were caught up in the incident."

RT interviewed the two men believed to be responsible for poisoning the Skripals, named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

The men said they were tourists visiting the "famous Salisbury Cathedral" at the time of the near-fatal attack.

They said friends had advised them to visit the monument and "its 123m-tall spire" but they decided not to ass there was "muddy slush everywhere".

Dawn Sturgess died in July after being exposed to Novichok when her boyfriend Charlie Rowley discovered a perfume bottle filled with the noxious substance.

An RT spokesperson said the chocolate model had been sent as a gift "in the spirit of the Holiday Season" to "multiple friends, peers and partners in the media sphere and beyond".

"As a news organisation, every year we put together presents that reflect one or several of the biggest news stories of the year.

"In 2018 we chose to highlight the internationally-resonant interview conducted by RT’s own editor in chief."

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