- Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images
- Theresa May is setting up a new “National Security Communications Unit.”
- The anti-fake news unit will be tasked with “combating disinformation by state actors and others.”
- May has previously accused Russia of waging a fake news war against the West.
- May believes Putin’s government is seeking to “sow discord” in the UK and US.
LONDON – Theresa May is setting up a new “fake news” unit to tackle the wave of anti-Western propaganda she believes in being spread by hostile foreign states such as Russia.
A spokesperson for the prime minister told Business Insider that the government had decided to establish the new “National Security Communications Unit” following a meeting of the National Security Council this week.
The unit will be “tasked with combating disinformation by state actors and others,” the spokesperson said.
The announcement follows a speech by May last year in which she accused Russia of waging a “fake news” war against the West.
May accused Russia of running a covert propaganda war using fake news to “sow discord” in the west and “meddle in elections.”
The prime minister said the West needed to tackle Putin’s regime which had become the biggest threat facing “open economies and free societies” across the globe.
“[Russia] is seeking to weaponise information. Deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions,” May said in November.
“So I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of Western nations to the alliances that bind us.”
The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will set out more details about the new unit in a statement to parliament over the coming days.