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State-funded broadcaster Russia Today sends chocolate model of Salisbury Cathedral as festive gift

Russian channel TV Rain tweeted that it had received a chocolate model of Salisbury Cathedral from Russia Today Photo: Twitter/TV Rain

The state-funded broadcaster Russia Today (RT) has been criticised for sending a chocolate model of Salisbury Cathedral as a festive gift.

The model is in reference to the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March.

An international investigation was launched into who was responsible for using the deadly nerve agent Novichok and in September, Prime Minister Theresa May said the suspects are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU.

But, days later, the pair Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov claimed in an interview broadcast on RT, they visited Salisbury as tourists – listing facts about the cathedral and insisted no involvement in the attack.

One of the chocolate models was sent to Russian channel TV Rain.

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TV Rain thanked RT for the gift and replied on Twitter: “Come for tea, we're afraid to eat it alone.”

John Glen, MP for Salisbury and South Wiltshire, called the chocolate model “quite extraordinary behaviour”.

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Jo Broom, a councillor in Salisbury, told the Independent it is in “very poor taste and disrespectful.”

“It’s very unfortunate that someone would begin thinking that was amusing. Someone lost their life and some people are still very ill. That makes me very sad that it’s been done and the community would be the same. They will be sad and angry.”