ALEX Salmond’s production company has hit out at broadcasting regulator Ofcom after it declared his RT show in breach of regulations over something that nobody complained about.

In what Slainte Media calls an “extraordinary” decision, Ofcom has found the production company and RT broadcaster Novosti in breach of regulations because four tweets on the very first show came from people with a remote connection to the show.

The original and only complaint to Ofcom about the show was very serious – it alleged that six tweets in the viewers’ questions section were “invented” to allow Salmond to “control the debate” on Brexit.

In its decision, Ofcom said: “We also acknowledged that the questions read out by Mr Salmond were not ‘invented’ as alleged by the complainant and that only one of the six tweets and emails referred to Brexit, the matter raised by the complainant in this case.”

Ofcom has also imposed no sanction for the breach. RT, which is backed by the Russian government, has come in for intense scrutiny by Ofcom, particularly since the Salisbury Novichok attack in March.

In turn a spokesperson for RT accused Ofcom of orchestrating media coverage of the incident by publishing a preliminary finding earlier this year, allegedly before receiving representations from the channel.

RT said: “This gives rise to grave concern over the fairness of Ofcom’s process and agenda.

"The concern is heightened as Ofcom is using powers that exist for protection against serious matters to find in breach this trivial teething problem – a real sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

A spokesman for Slainte Media said: “We are pleased that Ofcom in its ruling has rejected the basis of the sole complaint made against the programme and the inaccurate press coverage which provoked it.

"Thus it seems extraordinary that, having dismissed the basis of the only complaint which they actually received Ofcom then finds a different reason for an “in breach” finding, even if it is one which carries no sanction.

“For the very first programme of a recorded series there were obviously no existing viewers or live tweets to draw on in order to illustrate the audience participation section.

"Thus we used comment from a variety of sources for the six questions.

He continued: "Ofcom suggests that in these circumstances the inclusion of three questions from people with even remote connections to the Show is enough for an 'in breach' finding; not because their questions were included but because it was not specifically mentioned that they were from a freelance hairdresser, a friend of a camera man and someone who knew Mr Salmond.

"This ruling, even one with no proposed sanction, is out of all proportion to this very minor matter.

“It is worth noting that since this very first Alex Salmond Show was broadcast last November, and the audience established, we have produced no less than 34 shows featuring this particular section on viewers’ questions with no difficulty or complaint whatsoever.”

The National has contacted the Ofcom Content Board for comment.